Martin seeking safe house grant

Martin seeking safe house grant

While the City of Martin may join every other city across West Tennessee in application for a FEMA grant to construct a safe house within the city, it didn’t deter Martin Mayor Randy Brundige from taking the idea off of his wanted list.
Brundige announced to board members Tuesday evening, the city has applied and now it is a wait and see effort. The mayor said the expected wait time is nearly six months. He also noted FEMA grants were “hard to get.”
A safe house is a building designed to hold 1,000 people and sustain 250 mile per hour winds. The grant would be 87 percent funded through FEMA, with a 13 percent in-kind match from the city.
The grant does not include installation of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Brundige said there are Delta grants available to install HVAC equipment, kitchen appliances and shower units.
The Martin mayor said the idea behind the construction of a safe house would allow people to be housed for at least three to five days, barring an earthquake event. It would take approximately that long for aid to arrive from East Tennessee in the event of an earthquake.
The safe house could also be used in the event of significant weather. Stipulations of the grant include placement of the safe house where at least 500 people reside within a 1/2 air-mile radius. A possible location would be near the Martin Recreation Complex.
Brundige said an added plus to the location was having schools and churches nearby, places where people gather, listed on the grant application. Once a city is approved for a grant, it has three years to complete the project.
In other news, Brundige and city building inspector Billy Stout reported the property owners of a home on Alberta Street, which recently burned, plan to meet with contractors Saturday to consider demolishing the property. Under city code, a property owner has 90 days from the time a structure burned to demolish or repair the home.
The 90-day window for the Alberta Street property expires Saturday.
In department head reports, Martin Police Chief David Moore announced his department’s extensive street light function assessments have been completed and given to the Weakley County Municipal Electric System. Brundige reported WCMES has noted inadequate and poor functioning street lights will be repaired or replaced.
Moore also reported the annual Citizen Police Academy is now in session. Candidates meet one night a week and get a first-hand look at the full scope of the local law enforcement agency.
Martin Community Development Director Brad Thompson reminded board members there was a St. Patrick’s Day parade planned to take place at 4 p.m. in downtown Martin. Those already committed to participating include children of all ages riding bicycles or wagons, tractors and other vehicles.
He also told the board local businesses would offer specials throughout the day and customers have a chance to enter a drawing for a gift basket filled with items from local downtown businesses.
Thompson is also working on a Clean Energy Grant proposal for the city.
Brundige announced the infrastructure progress for the strip mall off of the Skyhawk Parkway is “coming along.” Proposed plans for the area are expected to be presented at an upcoming planning commission meeting for approval.
Citizen and former business owner Rex Pate asked the board to consider partnering to bring a super shredder to Martin after tax season.
‘If everybody is like me, they have seven or eight years worth of stuff I don’t need anymore and I would like to be able to dispose of it safely,” Pate shared. He said a manila envelope could be tossed into a super shredder and the  metal brad is not a concern.
Pate suggested recruiting a super shredder for Martin during the end of April or first of May.
To rent a shredder from CINTAS, the cost is $100 an hour and Pate said the city would be responsible for promoting or advertising the shredder event.
The board noted Pate’s request. The Public Works Committee is looking into the cost and funding of such a project.
The Martin Board of Mayor and Aldermen will meet in a formal session at 5:15 p.m. Monday in the city courtroom.

WCP 3.15.12

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