Skip to content

County discusses FEMA

Metcalfe County Emergency Management Director Emory Kidd addressed the fiscal court on several matters in the Feb. 28 meeting. Photo by Allyson Dix

We’re just not doing it and I can’t answer why: Kidd

Allyson Dix

Jobe Publishing, Inc.


Metcalfe’s Emergency Management Director Emory Kidd provided updates to fiscal court in the Feb. 28 meeting.

Kidd explained to the court the ongoing issue with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) monies, a matter that has persisted since 2019, as well as other training opportunities in preparing for disastrous weather.

Kidd explained when a bridge was repaired on Jack Sparks Road, the claim went through fiscal court a year later and because of this, it sparked opening up other items for review by FEMA.

Due to the way the county utilizes purchase orders and claims as well as documentation requirements, it takes longer than 30 days, Kidd explained, the request for FEMA monies on the Jack Sparks bridge was required to be submitted within 30 days.

“FEMA says 30 days so we lost that money,” Kidd told the court, “$89,000. That’s gone.”

“Once they found that they got to looking at some other things and there’s issues with potential double dipping,” he continued, “Where we was getting state money or state road aid or emergency road aid and combining it with FEMA, which is not allowed, Jack Sparks red-flagged us.”

Kidd explained other issues that have been flagged are due to poor record keeping and different types of requirements needed for documentation at the state and federal levels.

He said when, for example, road work is done in the county, GPS is the best way to record everything, but the state transportation cabinet requires road names and mile points while FEMA requires GPS locations.

Kidd said, “And there’s no way of doing a conversion from mile points to GPS so that hurt us.”

He provided ways to utilize this information going forward including bid requirements for GPS locations.

While it appears the county has been “double dipping” into monies, it hasn’t been by purpose, but better procedures, documentation, and record-keeping are needed going forward, Kidd implied.

But in the interim, until the matter is rectified, Kidd said, “We’re violating federal codes, state codes, county procurement, and a regulation that came out about three years ago with specific language about the way things are done.”

“We’re just not doing it and I can’t answer why,” Kidd said.

Magistrate Daniel Bragg, who has requested in recent meetings for upgrades to system software suggesting it’s outdated, said he has been researching the current software used by the county and found otherwise.

“It’s pretty phenomenal,” Bragg said, “You can do anything you want to with it and it may be a matter we just need to have a training on the things we can do.”

County Treasurer Page Edwards agreed and said she would fully support training on the program they use.

“I came in through the pandemic,” Edwards said, “I’ve had no training so what I do is what I’ve just learned by doing and would love to have training on it.”

Bragg said he has already started discussions for arranging some training on the software program.

Kidd also discussed damaged radio repeaters across the county that are affecting agencies in communicating including law enforcement. While some damage was due to lightning, he said the county has “nickeled and dimed” repairs on them and informed the court those matters will need addressed soon.

Additionally, Kidd requested availability times from officials for upcoming training regarding Emergency Management including damage assessment training. It was three days later the county experienced severe winds and multiple points of damage.

As of March 10, communications from magistrates to provide availability times for training have not been provided to the local emergency management agency despite the typical severe weather season that has already started.

1 Comment

  1. Patrick M. McCreary on March 27, 2023 at 9:19 am

    Climate change has altered weather patterns making severe weather more common. Eastern Kentucky floods and a tornado that struck Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2022 are but two examples. Metcalfe County should take additional steps to prepare for weather related emergencies.

    Metcalfe should strive to obtain every dollar available through FEMA to aid in this preparation. Getting ready now means less anguish and heartache later.

    Director Kidd needs all the help he can get. He needs to have his administrative issues resolved in order to better coordinate his efforts regarding funding. The workload may require additional staff. Perhaps FEMA can be tapped for the resources to pay for support staff.

    Emergency preparedness can be a thankless undertaking that simmers on an administrative back burner. It is often underfunded. When disaster strikes and the response is inadequate political finger-pointing begins. As a community, we really don’t want to go there.

    It is better to get in front of the problem and manage it than find yourself behind the eight ball after a significant weather event. With effort, I think we will find both Commonwealth and Federal resources to be helpful. We are not alone in this but we are the tip of the spear.

Leave a Comment