City of Emporia Commissioners renewed a long-standing agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency during a combined study/action session Wednesday morning.
Board members reviewed their obligations included as part of FEMA’s Regional Multi-Hazard Mitigation plan, which is traditionally completed every five years, incorporating each community in Lyon County along with the county itself. The plan includes a Threat Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment, or THIRA, which examines the likelihood of severe weather, flooding and wildfire events, identifying potential area projects and mitigation strategies to manage such threats.
While the city is not entitled to immediate federal financial assistance as part of the agreement, the contract would provide for the community in the instance of a large-scale disaster.
“This plan talks about any and all hazards we [might encounter], like flooding, tornados and anything else weather-related, but it also includes situations for our rail lines with hazardous materials, our highways and even things like bioterrorism,” Commissioner Rob Gilligan said.
In other business Wednesday, Emporia Public Library Director Robin Newell approached the board with information on the organization’s most current plans for reopening to the public. Newell said the EPL would be opening to community members by the end of November, aided by the return of furloughed staff and the installation of new self-checkout technology along with COVID-19 safety measures.
The library’s capacity will be limited to 30 patrons to begin, with visitors expected to complete any business within 30 minutes of entering. Computers will be made available to the public, but only for those 16 and older. Restrooms will also be reopened to the public, but only on the ground floor.
“Everything will still be returned outside, because that stuff needs to be quarantined ...” added Newell. “If you’re an adult, now you can go upstairs, hit the new bookshelf, hit the stacks, walk over to the new kiosk, check your books out and leave. There’s no more standing in line downstairs at the circulation desk … We’ll have three of those service points. At least two will be up in November, and by December, we’ll have a third one.”
Those looking for the latest information on library protocols are encouraged to visit the EPL website at emporialibrary.org or call 620-340-6462 with any questions before visiting.
During the meeting, city commissioners also:
Reviewed a request to increase tire disposal fees at the Lyon County Transfer Station. The proposed change would increase the fee from $7.25 per ton to $25 per ton with a $10 minimum.
Reviewed the city’s solid waste management plan prior to next Tuesday’s Solid Waste Management Planning Committee. The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. at the city of Emporia Water Plant.
Reviewed a modification to existing Neighborhood Revitalization Act boundaries to accommodate the proposed development of at least two Sunflower Care Homes on 15th Avenue near the Lincoln Street intersection.
Reviewed suggested updates and renovation projects to area parks and recreation facilities including: the Emporia Country Club tennis courts; the Peter Pan Park amphitheater and walking paths; the East Side Park playground and basketball courts; the Freemont Park playground, the area veterans memorial, the skate park, Sante Fe Park’s bicycle pump track and Hammond Park’s disc golf course. The list will be finalized in the coming weeks as will total costs.
Reviewed plans for the construction of a new public-use parking lot between the SOS building and C of E park. The city has currently set aside $65,000 for the lot, with a final cost expected at approximately $125,000.