Many people have had questions about “declaring an emergency” thinking that by doing so, the National Guard will come in to help with snow removal. An emergency can be declared by the mayor or county commissioners for seven days which can be extended if the governing body agrees. The declaration allows some additional flexibility in using personnel and funds within the budget. It allows the County Commissioners and Mayor the ability to make some decisions about spending without having a regular meeting of the commission or council. It does not send the National Guard to help or provide additional equipment. In our case, the City had already contacted private contractors but they were already too busy with their own clients. We already are using personnel from other departments and finding ways within the budget to cover additional time and expense.
The National Guard is dispatched by the Governor in emergencies. He did so for Ada County and the City of Boise because the Guard was having a training at Gowen Field on Snow removal in emergencies last weekend. The information I received was that the Guard provided drivers for equipment to give some relief to the Ada County drivers. I’m sure the legislators arriving for the opening of the Legislative Session and Governor’s Ball attendees appreciated the clearer roads as did all those of us having to get to Boise meetings.
The City, County, School District and other Washington County taxing districts work with the County Disaster Services Coordinator, Steve Domby, to join efforts where possible. Steve will be approaching the County Commissioners this week for a Declaration due to the concern over the snow and melting which can lead to flooding over the next few months. This declaration will help businesses that may have damage and will provide some avenues if we do have flooding. If residents are concerned about flooding in their homes, the City has sandbags and sand available in case of emergency. We’re all praying they aren’t needed.
Our hearts go out to those who have lost buildings and other structures to the snow. We have lost a couple of City landmarks in the Bowling Alley and Weiser Auto building. We appreciate these owners and what they have lost The City has lost a couple of storage areas but we are thankful that residents and crews have been safe.
A special thank you to Weiser Classic Candy and El Tamalito for providing lunches to the snow crews and to all those who have brought candy, cookies and cards of thanks. The crews and staff really appreciate the thoughts of thanks. It is very heartwarming, as many people have stated, how many members of our community have stepped up to help neighbors and the schools to get snow off roofs and clear sidewalks and driveways. Our young people learn from watching the adults in their lives and many are learning the importance of community and giving back or even paying forward. We’ll all keep shoveling and plowing as the snow comes and will appreciate the water for crops. Pray for NO FLOODING. We’ll get through. Thank you, Weiser for caring about your country, community and kids.