State demands frustrate emergency services director
MACOMB — Dan Kreps, director of the McDonough County Emergency Services and Disaster Assistance office, told county board committee members this week that it is getting more difficult to work with the state office in Springfield.
“Key people have left and you can’t get adequate information as to what is required,” he said.
Kreps said state demands for his part-time position have tripled in recent years. “They’re adding more and more stuff all the time,” he said. “It’s very frustrating.“
The county ESDA director said three meetings or exercises are now required each year to maintain grant eligibility. The requirement used to be just one disaster exercise. He said volumes of state regulatory language are now included with each grant application.
Kreps said he is now receiving questions from local nursing homes and rehabilitation services about Illinois Central Management Services guidelines for emergency planning. “I’ve gotten no direction from the state about this,” he said.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency also wants to renege on a 50 percent matching grant that was submitted by the county, Kreps said.
The radar antenna atop Memorial Hall on the Western Illinois University campus was repositioned and the ESDA director was originally told that a $700 grant would cover half the cost.
Kreps said he is now being told he will have to resubmit his 2016-2017 grant request form with no guarantee of radar antenna funding. He said he is checking with the other 15 ESDA directors in the state to see if others are having trouble getting their grants.
ESDA committee chairman Trevor Toland said he is willing to call the situation to the attention of State Representative Norine Hammond if it is not cleared up.
Reach Patrick Stout by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.