By Mike Kruzman /

The Livingston County Board of Commissioners has approved an agreement with a camp that could house first responders as they recover should the need or a difficult second wave of COVID-19 infections hit.

Livingston County Emergency Manager Therese Cremonte shared details with Commissioners during their latest online Finance Committee meeting. First responders are among the most susceptible to coming into contact with the coronavirus. Cremonte said at the onset of the COVID-19 response they began looking for someplace safe they could send them to quarantine or recover, to protect them from infecting their families or other members of the public. The North Star Reach Campground in Putnam Township was their ultimate choice. Cremonte said it’s, in fact, owned by a Washtenaw County first responder and has everything they need. She said the North Star Reach Camp is a special needs campground for young adults and children, with some medical capacity. Residents would have separate sleeping areas and bathrooms. The camp also provides sheets, toilet paper, garbage service, and laundry facilities.

Livingston County and the campground agreed to a flat rate of $250 per month for facility use, and $60 per day per person lodging. No cost will be incurred until somebody actually needs to use the camp. Cremonte said that while they’ve had infections among county first responders, this isn’t something they have needed yet, and may not need as the situation winds down. But it could be needed if a second wave hits at some point. The county and participating municipalities and agencies will be responsible for the cost. Cremonte said this agreement has the approval of FEMA and is possibly reimbursable for up to 75% of funds spent. She said they’ve done all the steps required of FEMA, but warned that sometimes FEMA can be fickle with their reimbursements.

The agreement was approved unanimously by the Board.