Hyde Park: Even disasters need a budget cap

HYDE PARK—During an emergency preparedness presentation at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting, Brian Potts of the Smithfield Fire Department stressed the need to draw up a formal declaration of a financial cap for disaster management if the city needed to declare a state of emergency.

“If you don’t declare a cap, before the county or the state can step in, you have to exercise and use that cap. If you don’t limit yourself you may be opening yourself to your whole budget,” Potts said.

Potts counseled that even though it’s a disaster you still have finances involved. Watching the budget and tracking the costs of items when purchased during a disaster is very important.

“You’re looking at the big picture, they are looking at a small event that’s just in front of them,” Potts said.

Potts also stressed the need to invest in an 800 MHz radio system. Potts said most of the public safety, such as fire, police and EMS run an 800 MHz now, and if declared for the use in an Emergency Operations Center the cost is dropped substantially.

“The role of the Emergency Operations Center is to gather information and be able to make decisions based on that information.”

The radio system will connect the E.O.C to public safety personnel during an emergency in the community, but also to all other communities up and down the state that use the system, connecting communities in a statewide disaster if needed.

“It’s like a cell phone but on a radio-based technology,” Potts said.

While personnel such as fire and police are out managing an emergency the emergency operations center will want to know what is going on as well as if the emergency personnel need assistance or resources.

Potts told the council that their role is primarily to manage the event. “You’re not going to be out there responding to the event, you’re really just representing the discussion making process,” Potts said.

In other business, Spencer Daines gave a presentation of his Eagle Scout project, where he plans to clean up Hyde Park Canyon Saturday at 9 a.m. Daines showed pictures of a shooting range area in the canyon which has many bullets, bullet shells, trash, targets such as TVs and couches he proposes needs to be thrown away to beatify the area that everyone uses. Daines also proposed future plans for the area that other scouts can focus on in adding gates, signs, a bowery and more similar to the improvements made in Smithfield Canyon.

The landscaping of the new water tank at Lion’s Park will begin Monday. Top soil and rocks have been delivered to the site. Contractor Michael Cooper donated 2,500 cubic yards of top soil, and the council expressed much appreciation.

Sgt. John Italasano of North Park Police Department reported that the drugs disposed of at the drop boxes in both Hyde Park and North Logan’s city hall, have been approved by the state to be incinerated at USU’s incinerator. Italasano said NPPD incinerated over 50 pounds of drugs Friday, and received another 12 pounds Wednesday from North Logan’s receptacle. Italasano said flyers will be being sent threw out the community informing citizens about the drop boxes courtesy of an Eagle project.

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.