Disaster plan gets first look

A plan to prepare Amherst for floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters is expected to be approved later this summer.

City council is moving to ratify the countywide hazard mitigation policy adopted May 13 by Lorain County commissioners.

The city has until Aug. 15 to sign the deal and will likely go through three readings of the document before passage.

Plans for handling disasters are outlined in a binder hundreds of pages thick, which mayor David Taylor hefted in front of a council committee June 15.

It also makes Amherst eligible to receive federal relief dollars should they be needed, fire chief Wayne Northeim wrote in a letter to council endorsing the plan.

This is not a new effort.

Submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in August 2005, it took a full decade to get the green light just this April.

“This is government in action,” Taylor chuckled to council with a roll of his eyes.

“I think we can respond faster than 10 years to a natural disaster,” councilman Joe Miller replied.

So far, only the county and Carlisle Township have formally adopted the hazard mitigation plan but Lorain County Emergency Management Agency director Tom Kelly is seeking approval from all cities, villages, and townships.

Council also plans to extend online sales of old and outdated equipment online.

Using www.egov.com in recent years has allowed Amherst to shed bulky machinery that is either broken or can’t be used anymore, the mayor said.

The most recent legislation allows anything worth $1,000 or more to be sold without the express consent of council. Police are in charge of listing sale items on the Web.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.