Oxford seeks federal emergency center grant

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – If Oxford officials get their way, the city could get a headquarters for directing rescue and recovery efforts in the wake of disaster.
Aldermen on Tuesday approved applying for a federal grant that could fund construction of a municipal Emergency Operations Center.
The fund typically distributes $20 million to 30 million each year for such buildings nationwide in a competitive application program, said Jimmy Allgood, the city’s emergency management coordinator.
“We have had plans for having an EOC for several years,” he said. “If you’re building a from-scratch, stand-alone EOC, you can ask for up to $1 million.”
Grant writer Lynn Wilkins said the city will ask for $750,000, which would cover most direct construction costs. A 25 percent matching grant is required.
“The match could include the value of the land, engineering and design services,” she said.
An EOC would be built to withstand most imaginable disasters and would have self-contained power, mechanical systems and communications.
“It’s really the heart of where you’re going to run your disaster operations, and during non-emergency times it would be used as a training facility,” Allgood said.
This will be Oxford’s fourth attempt at landing the grant, but Allgood isn’t discouraged.
“We don’t get a points advantage for having applied before, but we do get feedback on our application, so we improve it each year,” he said.
Contact Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@journalinc.com.