City gets grant to build new EOC headquarters

OXFORD — The Oxford Emergency Management Agency has been awarded a $750,000 grant from FEMA to build a new Emergency Operations Center in Oxford. The project is estimated to take about 18 months to complete and should be finished in the summer of 2013.

The grant was awarded through a competitive process based on how well applicants addressed state-identified priorities, quality of justification and pre-existing planning. FEMA selected Oxford and Onslow County in North Carolina as recipients of this year’s grant awards in this region.

The new center will serve as a warning point for the area and will provide ample space for other local and state agencies to stage personnel during emergencies. An emergency communications center and real-time information technology resources will also aid local officials when managing an emergency.

The center will be built to FEMA 361 standards to withstand winds of 200 miles per hour and will be located in a low-hazard risk area near the Oxford Electric Department. The facility will have emergency power and water supplies, protective shutters, load bearing walls and roofing. Due to Mississippi’s proximity to the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the facility will also be constructed to resist ground movement and will include automatic seismic shutoff valves to gas lines.

The total proposed cost of the project is $937,500 and includes a 25 percent grant match of $200,000 provided by the grant recipient. Portions of the match will come as in kind funds:

• City of Oxford Engineering Department will provide design engineering, construction engineering and inspections valued at $112,500.

• Oxford Electric Department provided land for the facility and parcel improvements valued at $75,000.

• University of Mississippi Information Technology department will provide $12,000 in labor to wire the new facility for technology.

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