Koehn to install storm shelters

Barbara harrington
Staff Writer
At their July 19 meeting, supervisors opened bids on the construction of storm shelters in the county.
Bobby Camp, 911 director, had applied for and will receive two grants to fund the project. The county will receive $120,000 in grant funds. The number of shelters to be put up is based on the bid price per shelter. The shelters will be divided among the five county districts. Gray said in the program, people with limited incomes are recipients of shelters. A list of those seeking shelters has already been compiled. Four bids were received. They included Danny Green of Nettleton, Chris Koehn, Shackelford Construction of Guntown and Fain Storm Shelters. The bids given were for different sizes of shelters. After Camp, Creekmore and county administrator Sonny Clay tabulated the costs and how many shelters could be constructed for the money, the board voted to award the contract to Chris Koehn, with 53 shelters to be built from his bid.
In deciding where the shelters would go, Sonny Clay said they “sort of spaced them around the county,” where they can be used as a community shelter as much as individual’s shelters.
Board president Randle Gray had at first asked if the board could take the bids under advisement, but Camp said it needed to be awarded at that meeting. “Whoever gets the contract needs to start tomorrow,” he said. There is an August 20 deadline with FEMA, which is providing $90,000 of the total funding, to have all of the shelters installed.
A lengthy discussion was held with Koehn and Milton Lee, who were present at the meeting, as to whether they could get the work done in that time frame. The installation was no problem, but they only have a certain amount on hand and only two molds to make others. “It’s not impossible, but just about,” said Lee. “Most of them still have to be built.” He said he has 16 on hand and can build 12 a week.
Finally they decided they could get it done and the bid was awarded to them. Camp said there had been confusion about whether the work had to be bid, and when it was determined that it did, the county was late in advertising. He said he is communicating with FEMA about an extension.