Some municipalities to get disaster relief

December 6, 2018

JUNEAU -- Dodge County Executive Committee members learned Tuesday morning some of its municipalities are eligible for disaster funding through Wisconsin’s Active Weather Disaster Declaration.

Dodge County Emergency Management Director Amy Nehls said the villages of Brownsville and Kekoskee, the town and villages of Lomira, the town of Theresa, the city of Watertown and half of the city of Waupun (the other half which lies in Fond du Lac County was eligible for FEMA funding) and the Dodge County’s Sheriff’s Office and Highway Department all submitted their expenses under the state disaster fund since the county did not receive public assistance from FEMA.

Following severe flooding and tornado damage in certain areas this past summer, FEMA’s Public Assistance Teams and the state Department of Natural Resources toured Dodge County to determine if municipalities were eligible for federal funding. However, the areas hit by the storms did not meet the threshold for federal funding, but were eligible for the Wisconsin Disaster Fund.

Nehls said while half of the city of Watertown is in Jefferson County and the other half of the city was declared in the disaster area the entire city is covered under public assistance.

Nehls said she received an email from the state Nov. 30 and because of the number of disasters in Wisconsin in the last two years relief funding has been exhausted.

“The communities are still eligible (for funding) but it’s going to take a little more time,” Nehls said. “I have sent a letter to all of those communities giving them a heads up they will probably not receive a check yet this year. The money will likely come in 2019.”

Also, Nehls requested a redistribution amount of $7,725 to allow the county’s emergency management department to purchase radio equipment. She said the city of Watertown is on its own encrypted frequency and the county has not had a lot of ability to monitor it.

“Working with the new (police) chief we came up with a written agreement giving us permission to get a radio we can keep in dispatch that our dispatchers can monitor,” Nehls said. “And, they (the dispatchers) can monitor it. They would be able to let our employees know what is going on in case of a large event. If a large incident were to happen like a train derailment we would be able to work with them. It’s good for us. It’s good for them and it’s good for our dispatch center.”

Nehls said currently the Dodge County Communications Center uses telephones when speaking with the city of Watertown, but by having a radio, it would help during a large scale emergency.

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