By Emily Le Coz
TUPELO – The city will seek a grant for two community storm shelters that, combined, would be able to hold some 2,200 people in the event of a tornado or other extreme weather event.
One would be located in Theron Nichols Park in Ward 7 and cost nearly $500,000; the other in Dot Cooper-Kelly (formerly Lee Acres) Park in Ward 3 and cost nearly $600,000.
“I’m not proposing we do this – we’ve got other priorities for our money – but I’d hate the chance to pass up considering this,” said Mayor Jack Reed Jr. during a City Council work session Tuesday at City Hall. “That’s our challenger here, in tornado alley.”
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will provide the funds, allocated by FEMA, to communities who win the grant. It will pay 75 percent of the project costs.
City Council members are expected to authorize its grant writer, Terri Blissard, to apply for the grant. That could happen as early as Nov. 20.
If the city wins, the grant wouldn’t be available until next year.