OC Commission seeks new emergency director


Ozark County commissioners expressed relief at their Monday morning meeting that FEMA has approved funding for repairs to county roads and bridges damaged by flood and high water. One of the crossings to be repaired is Haskins Ford over the Little North Fork of the White River as it flows into Bull Shoals Lake on County Road 863 near Isabella. A hole opened up in the submerged slab earlier this spring, and concrete blocks were placed in the damaged area to keep vehicles from driving into the hidden hole after vandals stole metal fenceposts originally marking the hazardous spot. The crossing was underwater most of this spring due to high lake levels. The repairs, which will return the area to "pre-flood" condition, will include concrete work, asphalt and new culverts. Times photo / Amelia LaMair

At Monday’s meeting of the Ozark County Commission, the commissioners agree there are  big shoes to fill in the wake of Ozark County Emergency Management director Brett Meints' resignation last month.
Presiding Commissioner John Turner said they are formulating a list of qualifications for the director and will be taking applications for the position in the coming weeks. The position offers a $9,600 annual salary, which is funded partially by the county and partially by grant money. "We hope to find a person with the right skill set to fit this important job,” said Turner, who will serve as emergency director until the position is filled.
Meints and his wife, Jamie, were instrumental in seeing the county through last spring's record-setting flood. "They worked tirelessly for a couple of months. I don't know what we'd have done without them,” said Turner.
Western Ozark County Commissioner Greg Donley agreed. ”Jamie and Brett both did a lot of hard work making sure people were taken care of,” he said.
 "It's a great loss to the county." said Gary Collins, Eastern Ozark County Commissioner.
Also at their meeting Monday, the commissioners expressed relief that FEMA funds are coming in now to repair roads and bridges damaged by floods and high water.
Donley said funds have  finally been approved to repair the low-water crossing at Haskins Ford, which was underwater and non-crossable most of the spring. Adding to the high-water problem, a big hole opened up in the roadway slab at the ford over the Little North Fork River, an unseen hazard for those attempting to drive over the submerged crossing. After fenceposts marking the hole were stolen by vandals, the county had large concrete blocks hauled in to keep motorists from driving into the hole. 

Ozark County Times

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