Public Encouraged to Comment on Hazard Mitigation Progress

Oswego County and its partner municipalities and agencies are seeking public comment on a county-wide hazard mitigation plan currently being developed.

“This partnership needs the input of community members to continue and finalize the plan,” said Legislator Paul Santore, District 16, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature’s Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee. “The contribution of our residents is essential as they may know of a disaster or have a concern that the planning committee hasn’t thought of, or they may have a fresh idea to minimize a disaster’s impact on people or property.”

The Oswego County Multi-Jurisdictional Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan will be introduced at the following public presentations:

Pulaski: Tuesday, October 20 at 7 p.m. in the Snow Memorial Building on U.S. Route 11.

Central Square: Wednesday, October 28 at 7 p.m. in the Hastings Town Hall on U.S. Route 11.

Oswego: Meeting date, time and location to be confirmed.

To foster participation throughout the county, three geographic work groups with representatives from municipal governments, partner agencies and community members were formed. They include:
The Northern Work Group consists of the towns of Albion, Boylston, Orwell, Redfield, Richland, Sandy Creek and Williamstown along with the villages of Altmar, Lacona, Pulaski and Sandy Creek.

The Central Work Group includes the towns of Amboy, Constantia, Hastings, Mexico, New Haven, Parish and West Monroe as well as the villages of Central Square, Cleveland, Mexico and Parish.
The Southern Work Group involves the towns of Granby, Hannibal, Oswego Scriba and Volney in addition to the village of Hannibal and the cities of Fulton and Oswego.

Earlier this year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded a grant to Oswego County to establish a comprehensive hazard mitigation plan for the county and its municipalities.

“Having this plan in place allows the county and participating municipalities to be eligible for future funding from FEMA,” said Patricia Egan, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “It will guide our efforts to eliminate or lessen the effects of future disasters such as unusually severe snowstorms, ice storms, or wind storms that can strike our area.”

Hazard mitigation planning is the process of determining how to reduce or eliminate the loss of life and property damage resulting from natural or man-made hazards.

Input from multiple jurisdictions is one of the requirements for FEMA and participants have found that it also makes the planning process much smoother.

“We held several planning sessions with each of these regional work groups to determine what natural and technological hazards can affect the county and its municipalities,” said Terry Bennett, emergency services program coordinator with the Oswego County Emergency Management Office. “Our next step was to use that information to develop strategies for lessening the effects of those hazards.”

The Oswego County Legislature’s Public Safety and Emergency Services Committee oversees the Emergency Management Office. In addition to Legislator Santore, the committee includes Vice-Chairwoman Linda Lockwood, District 5; and legislators Shawn Doyle, District 3; Mary Flett, District 17; Kevin Gardner, District 13; Margaret Kastler, District 1; and Lee Walker Jr., District 15.
For more information, please call the Oswego County Emergency Management Office at 315/591-9150.