Center getting federal money

KILN — Plans to construct a new Emergency Operations Center to serve Hancock County can now move forward with the support of a $1.5-million federal grant, announced Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

The grant award has been given final approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The application for the center, which will be located in Kiln and will cost an estimated $2 million, was submitted by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. The grant award also cleared a review from the congressional appropriations committees.

The new 11,250-square-foot center will be developed and constructed in two phases. It will meet FEMA 361 standards for shelters that can withstand hurricane and tornado-force winds. The facility will accommodate 75 emergency command staff and other essential personnel.

The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program grant for the Hancock County facility must be matched with $500,000 in non-federal funding. This grant program provides funding to states and local governments for long-term hazard mitigation activities designed to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters.

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