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County recognizes Van Alstyne Scout Troop, taps Jennifer Davis for OEM

CHRIS JENNINGS/HERALD DEMOCRAT Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum presents Herb Reed with a proclamation on Van Alstyne’s Boy Scout Troop 44’s 100 years of existence.Buy Photo
CHRIS JENNINGS/HERALD DEMOCRAT Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum presents Herb Reed with a proclamation on Van Alstyne’s Boy Scout Troop 44’s 100 years of existence.

Grayson county commissioners celebrated Tuesday a long-standing Boy Scout Troop in the county. Commissioners also added to the list of people who can be counted upon to help out when things awry.

Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum read a proclamation honoring Boy Scout Troop 44 in Van Alstyne for being active for 100 years. Troop Chaplin Herb Reed was at the meeting to pick up the proclamation. He said the Troop is the 5th oldest in the country and third oldest in the state.

Commissioner Jeff Whitmire said he plans to be at the Troop’s celebration on Saturday to present the proclamation. That celebration starts at 2 p.m. at the Scout Hut, 145 Gray’s Trail in Van Alstyne.

Commissioners also approved the appointment of Jennifer Davis as assistant volunteer coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management. Sarah Somers, OEM coordinator, told commissioners Davis has been working with OEM as a member of a Community Emergency Response Team since 2010. Somers said Davis spent time this year training to be a CERT trainer and will help to lead future members of the CERT corps in the county. In addition, Somers said, Davis is also the secretary of the local Emergency Planning Committee, a group that works with OEM on Hazmat initiatives.

Somers said Davis works for ServPro in Sherman and Denison. “They have agreed to allow Jennifer to serve with us through yet another public/private partnership as the assistant volunteer coordinator for Grayson County Emergency Management.”

“Jennifer, are you really sure you know what your getting into?” Bynum asked.

“Pretty sure,” Davis replied with a large smile on her face.

“Well I am certainly aware of what you have done for us thus far and thank you very much for wanting to continue … you bring not only a great company with you, but as importantly, a different set us eyes which I think is extremely important as we collectively try to do the right thing when it comes to emergency management,” Bynum said.

Somers told commissioners, volunteers have done a great deal for emergency management in the county. She said she added up the number of volunteer hours provided to the OEM for the fiscal year that began in October 2012. That number, she said, is 1,860.

She said the U.S. Department of Labor tells the county to value those hours at a rate of $22.57. “That means if you tried to put a dollar value to it, which I don’t think you can, for this fiscal year alone our county has benefited from $41,980.20 of labor,” Somers said. She explain that those volunteer hours allow the county to keep labor costs down. “And these folks do unbelievable work for us.”

In addition, the commissioners also approved a request to authorize the county auditor’s office to prepare and submit the county’s quarterly tax filing. They also approved a road bore agreement with Semgas for a bore on High Country Road and approved a request to declare a tractor and mower and brush chipper from Precinct 1 as surplus for sale at auction. County leaders also approved the renewal of the county’s annual janitorial contracts with AMX.