CORUNNA — Shiawassee County soon could have a new emergency manager.

Thursday, the Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to authorize the Sheriff’s Office to hire a part-time emergency manager.

Once hired, the new director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will work 24 hours per week at $32.92 an hour — about $50,000 per year for a three-day work week.

The county will pay 63 percent of the salary, with 37 percent provided by a Michigan Emergency Management Program grant.

Trent Atkins, the previous director, resigned in September after serving more than two years in the position.

Atkins, who worked as a part-time county employee, told The Argus-Press at the time he accepted a full-time position in the private sector, with Signal Restoration Services in Troy.

Atkins will direct the new tactical division of the company, which restores property damage incurred as the result of a natural disaster, performing emergency and disaster planning.

Atkins briefly worked “unofficially” for the county for a couple hours a week following his resignation in order to work on grant applications that were in progress. He said he will also help with the transition after the county hires a new emergency manager.

Since his departure the county has been without an emergency manager.

Last January, and again in June, the Board of Commissioners discussed making the emergency manager position full-time. In June they discussed increasing the salary from $50,000 to $68,287 per year.

The discussions never led to a final vote. The issue was tabled in January, and in June it was dropped without explanation prior to a final vote.

The position includes such things as evaluating security risks, coordinating resources and managing grants and funding. Atkins also did things like write grants enabling the purchase of tactical helmets and bullet-proof vests for every law enforcement agency in the county.

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