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Derry council taps surplus for emergency message board

Union Leader Correspondent

April 30. 2013 7:55PM

DERRY - As has been the case with several other departments, the Emergency Management Department saw its requested budget cut for fiscal year 2014 by the Town Council.

However, it was a different case than the wrangling over the overtime budgets in the police, fire and public works departments.

In this case, Councilor Brad Benson made the successful motion to cut a $16,750 request in the budget for a new electronic message board and instead have the department use surplus funds from the current year's budget to purchase the message board.

The electronic message boards are placed at high traffic areas throughout the town to inform residents of emergency situations, upcoming events and other information.

"We will have a surplus, and rather than putting it in next year's budget, maybe that's something we can buy this year," said Benson.

The council unanimously approved the motion and approved an overall emergency management budget of $55,289.

"The budget includes no new positions or programs," said Fire Chief George Klauber. "To be honest, there really are no positions (in the budget). I am also the director of emergency management."

Klauber said there is also a temporary, part-time assistant position in the budget.

Other than the requested funding for the electronic message board, Klauber said everything else in the budget was either level-funded or a decrease from the current budget.

The Emergency Management Department leads the community's effort to prepare, respond to and recover from any natural or man-made disasters.

Emergency management also helps other town departments develop contingency emergency plans and maintain a comprehensive all-hazards emergency operations plan.

In addition to emergency planning and training, the department also oversees a volunteer community emergency response team and the Code Red community notification system.

Public Safety Politics Derry