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Maintenance Department News

Public Notice Regarding FEMA Grant

St. Johns County School District has applied for a federal grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to install emergency backup power generators at three elementary schools which are utilized as primay hurricane shelters: Otis Mason Elementary School, Osceola Elementary School and Mill Creek Elementary School. As a part of the grant application, St. Johns County School District is required to provide the following public notice about the project.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency and Florida Division of Emergency Management have received the following application for Federal grant funding. Final notice is hereby given of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) consideration to provide funding in the form of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Funds will be provided in accordance with Section 404 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, Public Law 93-288, as amended.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), federal actions must be reviewed and evaluated for feasible alternatives and for social, economic, historic, environmental, legal, and safety considerations. Under Executive Order (EO) 11988 and EO 11990 FEMA is required to consider alternatives to and to provide public notice of any proposed actions in or affecting floodplains or wetlands. EO 12898 also requires FEMA to provide the opportunity for public participation in the planning process and to consider potential impacts to minority or low-income populations.

Funding for the proposed project will be conditional upon compliance with all applicable federal, tribal, state and local laws, regulations, floodplain standards, permit requirements and conditions.

St. Johns County School District

Project Title:
HMGP-4283- 98 St. Johns Emergency Backup Generators for Primary Shelters

Location of Proposed Work:
The area affected by this project consists of homes in the following locations:
Homes in areas served by the following Elementary Schools:
Otis Mason Elementary, 207 Mason Manatee Way, St. Augustine, FL 32086
Osceola Elementary, 1605 Osceola Elementary School Rd. St. Augustine, FL 32084
Mill Creek Elementary School, 3750 International Golf Pkwy, St. Augustine, FL 32092

Proposed Work and Purpose:
Provide Emergency backup power generators at three locations utilized as primary Hurricane Shelters. Generators would insure continued operation of shelter to provide egress lighting, ventilation, sanitation and food service operations in the event of power failure.

Project Alternatives:
The alternatives to the project that have been and will be considered are 1) the no action alternative and 2) Provide electrical infastructure identical to primary project with manual transfer switch and connection for temporary wiring of portable generator in lieu of permanent installed emergency generator. This alternative would ultimately solve the issue of power loss during shelter operations however would be contingent on availability to obtain portable backup generators for each site during a major storm event. These alternatives to the proposed project are not viable because under Alternative 1) Emergency backup power would be readily available at all times and would not rely on availability of portable emergency generators during a major storm event and Alternative 2) This alternate is contingent on availability of portable emergency generators. During the most recent storm event, Hurricane Irma, due to the widespread impact of the storm no portable generators were available from any known source.

Comment Period:
Comments are solicited from the public; local, state or federal agencies; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of the proposed project. The comments should be made in writing and addressed to the Florida Division of Emergency Management-Mitigation, 2555 Shumard Oak Blvd., Tallahassee, FL 32399-2100. These are due within 30 days of this notice (March 6, 2018). The State will forward comments to applicable regulatory agencies as needed. Interested persons may submit comments, obtain more detailed information about the proposed action, or request a copy of the findings by contacting:

David Lee, Director for Maintenance Services
St. Johns County School District
(904) 501-3707
[email protected]

Teresa Sanders, State Environmental Specialist
Florida Division of Emergency Management
(850) 815-4521
[email protected]

Responding to Hurricane Irma

Electrician Al Wynn (left) and helper Larry Bushner (right)

Recently, St. Johns County was directly impacted by a substantial hurricane leaving many schools without power. The maintenance department played a huge role in providing power during and after the storm. Shelters opened up across the District and housed Florida residents from all over the state.

When the power went out the Maintenance Department employed two 100 Kilowatt Cat portable diesel generators to provide power to the affected shelters during the storm. When the storm ceased, Maintenance employees rotated these generators from school to school to operate food service coolers and freezers preventing the loss of tens of thousands of dollars in food products. The district and school maintenance staff put in countless hours to secure and prepare all school sites and facilities for the safe return of students.