Wallace coordinating jobs to combat floods

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lewisburg's immediate past industrial development director is now the National Emergency Grant Business service manager in South Central Tennessee.

"I'm temporary, not full time," said Terry Wallace, the man who's been hunting new employers for local workers and, in his new position, is still providing that service.

But now it's to deal with results of the May 1 flooding and how to prevent such rains from doing that again.

Here's how the government describes the work in Marshall, Maury, Giles, Hickman, Wayne, Lawrence, Moore and Perry counties.

"The purpose of this position is to work with partner agencies personnel of private/public community based organizations and area employers to coordinate employment efforts for the National Emergency Grant Disaster Relief Project. The mission of this protect is to assist organizations with cleanup and restoration efforts as a result of the recent severe flooding in local workforce investment areas."

Wallace says, "It's to keep flooding from happening again, as well as clean up from the flooding again.

"There are still 10-11 bridges that are still out in Hickman County at Centerville," he said. "Perry was hit hard also. They've got bridges out. They're using a lot of the money to clear wood out from under bridges and digging out ditches, and stuff like that."

Some of the work has started in Chapel Hill, and there could be similar efforts elsewhere in Marshall County.

The federal money paying workers in Chapel Hill is being used to clean out ditches.

"They didn't have much damage," Wallace said. "They're doing prevention. The maximum they can be paid is $11.50 per hour. We can buy them weed eaters and chain saws. The equipment becomes state surplus property and then it goes back to the counties that say they want it."

County Roads Superintendent Jerry Williams also sought disaster response assistance to clean out ditches.

Applications for the work are accepted at the Career Center at Columbia State Community College's campus on South Ellington Parkway.

"This has been going on since June and the counties that were hit the hardest were taken first," Wallace said of the work. "I've enjoyed it. I've seen a lot of old county and city mayors and EMS guys I've known some since 1972. I don't have a hard time getting in to see them."