Ag Department dedicates new emergency response facility
Oklahoma Congressman Dan Boren Feb. 27 presented Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach, with a deed to a facility in Tupelo, Okla., that will be used as an emergency response center. The building was built for the U.S. Department of Energy but had been out of use for some time.
"We're extremely excited about getting this wonderful facility from the federal government and we're still studying all the possibilities it opens for us in terms of emergency response," he said. "Wildfires, animal diseases and natural disasters are examples of events we respond to on a regular basis but our incident command teams and fire fighters can respond to essentially any type of emergency."
Originally build by the DOE to be used by the Southwestern Power Administration as a maintenance facility, Peach said the property and buildings are ideal for his agency to use as a storage and staging area.
"It is ideal for our needs and I am extremely grateful to Congressman Boren for his role in making this happen," he said. "We are also thankful for State Representative Paul Roan who originally brought this property to our attention and was the person who worked hardest in getting this facility transferred to our agency.
Roan said returning the facility to functional status will be good for both the community and the mission of the state agriculture department.
"This is a great day for Coal County and a great day for the State of Oklahoma," he said. "These structures will once again be productive and will enhance the state's ability to respond to wildfires and other emergencies."
Boren offered his appreciation as well.
"I really appreciate the vision that Rep. Roan, Secretary Peach and everyone involved in this project has shown, he said. "It is commendable that they were able to look at this resource and recognize its value and its potential for protecting our citizens and our resources."