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Wood County Commission accepts grant for drone

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission unanimously voted to accept a $50,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to purchase a drone to be used by local emergency personnel.

It has been over a year since the county applied for the grant to purchase the unit for 911/Emergency Management, said Wood County grant coordinator Toni Tiano.

The drone was originally going to cost $32,000 and then 911 was going to provide personnel for the match. Now local officials have to come up with $16,167 for the match.

After reviewing the models, 911 will need a drone that costs $50,000, Tiano said.

The local match will come from the county’s 911 funds.

Wood County Commission President Blair Couch said a drone can be used in search and rescue operations and other needs. It will be housed at the 911 Center so local agencies can use it if needed, he said.

Tiano said the county had to accept the grant by the end of the month or risk losing it.

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