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Bay Senior Center’s new generator will aid emergency planning

By JEFF GALLATIN

BAY VILLAGE – A new generator which will allow the Dwyer Senior Center to serve as an emergency shelter will be installed later this month or in early August.

Mayor Paul Koomar said with the awarding by City Council June 26 of a $63,500 contract to Nerone and Sons of Cleveland for the generator and its installation, additional work on updating the city’s emergency plan can continue. Earlier this year, Cuyahoga County awarded the city a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant to help purchase the new generator. Since then, city staff has been working out the details of getting the new generator and getting it in place so it could handle the day-to-day power needs of the building as well as having the ability to provide additional power in case of an emergency like Superstorm Sandy several years ago or other unforeseen calamities.

“Getting the grant was good timing this year because we are in the process of updating the master plan,” Koomar said. “Knowing we’ll have a generator and a Senior Center which can handle increased work in case of an emergency will help as we put together the different parts of the plan.”

Koomar and other city officials have cited the events of Superstorm Sandy as reason to have up-to-date emergency plans and the ability to have emergency shelter available for residents. Like other lakeshore cities, Bay Village was hit hard by Sandy in October 2012, with thousands of residents losing power for several days.

“It was bad enough having it in the fall, if we get something like a winter blizzard, we need places where we can provide shelter and heat,” Koomar said. “The new generator will give us the ability to bring people into the Senior Center and set up shelter if need be.”

Bay Village Fire Chief Chris Lyons said having the ability to utilize the Senior Center more aids the city.

“We already have the community room of the police station designated as a shelter, but it’s a relatively small area and we could use the (Bay) High School gym area as well,” Lyons said. “The Senior Center is more accessible, is bigger and also has better facilities for food and providing other needs for people. The generator gives us the ability to handle the increased power needs that we would need to set up temporary living quarters if need be.”

City officials noted the current capacity for people in the Dwyer Center is 220 with the tables and other current furnishings. Koomar and Lyons said part of the update work will be determining the building’s capacity in an emergency situation.

“We’ll put that with all the other information and put together a cohesive plan,” Koomar said.

 

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