October 26, 2006

Homeland Security Grant Program Will Include Local Decision Makers

Reorganization of the nations Homeland Security efforts in the state of Missouri means that 13 individuals from northeast Missouri will be making decisions on funding local projects that will total $900,000 in costs.

In July the State Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with the Department of Public Safety announced a statewide reorganization effort to manage the estimated $50 million in Department of Homeland Security grant funding in the state.

The change was announced after SEMA revealed in the past, approximately 1,300 sub-grantees successfully applied for Homeland Security funding across the state, causing a tremendous administrative workload on SEMA staff. The old process of allowing each political subdivision to apply for grant funding individually also led to duplication of equipment and resources within close geographical proximity to each other.

In order to more efficiently manage and administer the pass-through Homeland Security funding, the State has proposed to organize into regions, based upon the existing nine (9) troop areas of the Highway Patrol, with an additional two (2) areas for the Kansas City and St. Louis Metro locations. Within these eleven (11) regional areas, the local Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) will be utilized to organize the local political subdivisions in the creation of regional grant allocation committees who will decide upon grant funding request priorities on a regional basis. The local regional planning commissions will also be responsible for handling local administration processing of the grant funding.

Troop B, which includes the 16 counties of northeast Missouri, is the home of three RPCs. Green Hill serves the western portion of Troop B while Mark Twain handles the southernmost counties. Northeast Regional Planning Commission has the five northeast corner counties, including Scotland County.

The change also was made in an effort to more efficiently allocate the declining Homeland Security funding. It generates incentive for local regions of the State to cooperate with each other in focusing on their immediate needs, based upon the requirements to address the thirty-six (36) capabilities established in the Homeland Security Risk Survey. It also concentrates decreasing funding levels towards addressing the most critical threats and risks within the regions, decided by the members of the region themselves, using the federal threat/risk guidelines.

The transition establishes a committee of 13 members with one representative from each of the following areas in that region: Director of Emergency Management, Chief of Police, County Sheriff, Chief of Fire, County Health, Homeland Security Response Team, City or County Public Works, Mayor or City Administrator, County Commissioner, Private Industry/Public Utility, Emergency Medical Service, 911, and the Volunteer Sector.

The Troop B committee is headed by Mark Fuqua, the Executive Director of the Mark Twain Regional Planning Commission headquartered in Perry. Fuqua will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the committee.

Roy Monroe of Memphis serves on the Troop B committee representing the City/Public Works sector.

Dave Davison of the Northeast Missouri RPC stated the Troop B committee has met twice. After the initial organizational meeting the members met September 16th and agreed to begin compiling proposals for use of the $900,000 allotted to the Troop B region.

Davison noted anyone with proposals for grant funding should contact Monroe or Fuqua. That latter may be reached at (573) 565-2203 or by e-mail at Fuquacog@rallstech.com.

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