Schoolcraft County employs emergency management leader

ESCANABA – Schoolcraft County will be utilizing the services of Delta County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Berbohm.

An independent contract agreement between Schoolcraft and the Delta County emergency management coordinator was approved by the Delta County Board of Commissioners Tuesday.

Per the contract, Berbohm will provide emergency management services to Schoolcraft County and accept the role of emergency services coordinator pursuant to Michigan Statute. Berbohm has agreed to work with Schoolcraft County one day a week, according to Delta County Administrator Nora Viau, who said this arrangement will not be a detriment to Delta County.

“Schoolcraft County approached Delta County,” explained Viau during the meeting. “They were having some issues with their emergency management program in the county and Bob Berbohm … has been helping guide them through in order to keep them qualified to receive their grant funding under emergency management.”

She said Delta County would be the priority in case of a widespread incident, and noted if an emergency happened in Schoolcraft County that required several days of Berbohm’s attention, Delta County would be financially reimbursed.

Berbohm will be paid $10,000 over the year for his services, which will be paid on a monthly basis, according to the contract.

The agreement became effective Jan. 14 and will expire on Dec. 31.

“I really consider this helping your neighbor,” said Commissioner Dave Rivard. “They need help and we’re able to do that and it’s in the spirit of cooperation as the governor had indicated several months ago.”

The agreement will be reviewed by Berbohm and both the Delta and Schoolcraft county boards of commissioners prior to Dec. 1 for renewal purposes.

The board also approved a service agreement with the city of Escanaba to connect with a wireless access point to the wastewater plant fiber line. The agreement gives the county permission to use the city’s available fiber network and equipment for data communication between the county and its Delta County Airport facilities.

According to Board Chairman Tom Elegeert, the agreement will allow for a high-speed connection to satisfy the needs at the airport and Civil Air Patrol. The five-year agreement lasts through 2018.

According to Viau, the county has approval of the equipment from the Federal Aviation Administration. The item is also on this week’s Escanaba City Council meeting agenda for approval.

In other business, the board:

– approved out of county travel to attend the Michigan Association of Counties Conference in Lansing from March 18-20.