The commission adopted the $3.9 Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program budget at a regularly scheduled meeting this morning. The money falls short of the $5.2 million that was budgeted for the program last year and well behind the almost $70 million dollar annual budgets of years past.
The program was intended to help prepare the county for any accidents involving chemical weapons stored at the Anniston Army Depot. The money paid for tone alert radios, warning sirens, improved public safety communication systems and household protective gear for many residents. The Army began destroying the chemical stockpile in 2003, a process that is expected to be completed this year.
Calhoun County Administrator Ken Joiner said the county received what he expected for this fiscal year. The money will be used to manage safety operations through September, though the last remaining munitions are expected to be destroyed by this summer.