Trumbull EMA to get COVID-19 response vehicle

WARREN — Trumbull County Commissioners on Wednesday voted to commit more than $58,000 of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act money to buying a vehicle for Trumbull County Emergency Management Agency to respond to COVID-19-related issues.

The County EMA will get a $47,278 2020 Ford F-150 from Klaben Ford in Warren, which will be outfitted with $11,342 worth of equipment, including emergency lighting and a MARCs radio, through Hudson Communications, LLC of Piperpoint.

The vehicle will be used for COVID-19 clinics, dispensing COVID-19 personal protective equipment and other related issues involved in the daily operation of the Trumbull County EMA.

Trumbull County EMA Director John Hickey said the EMA’s current vehicle, a Ford Escape, is not able to tow trailers.

He said when personal protective equipment was distributed at Kent State University at Trumbull, the state’s designated drop-off spot, people had to use their personal vehicles to bring PPE.

“This will allow more flexibility when dealing with COVID stuff, or really the day-to-day operations of the EMA,” Hickey said.

He said the new vehicle will allow the EMA to provide equipment and services safely and efficiently.

Also during the commissioner’s regular meeting, 15-year-old Rayna Lambert of Bristol asked the county to reconsider its mowing policy when it comes to milkweed in order to better preserve the habitats of endangered monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

Lambert, who is in 4-H, told commissioners that when she was coming back from the Trumbull County Fair, she noticed that large patches of milkweed had been mowed down. She reached out to the county engineer’s office and was told the mowing was a safety policy, she said.

Lambert, who also brought her concerns about milkweed mowing before the commissioners three years ago, took it upon herself to do some research and found that the Ohio Department of Transportation mows medians and the first 30 feet from the edge of the pavement, but only mows back slopes once per year to coincide with Monarch butterfly migration patterns.

“As of right now, the breeder Monarchs are laying eggs on the milkweed, preparing for the migratory generation, which will fly 3,000 miles to overwinter in the oyamel fir trees in Mexico,” Lambert told commissioners.

She said she understood that mowing was a mandatory safety procedure, but asked that the county only make one small pass between the pavement and the ditch, sparing the milkweed that grows on the other side of ditches, at least until October.

“Mow one pass; make them last,” Lambert said.

Gary Shaffer, deputy engineer with the county engineer’s office, told Lambert he could take the information back to the county highway department to see what it can accommodate.


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