Fed Grant Forces Budget Amendment

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A new federal grant forced Pickens County to amend its budget last week. In November the county received a traffic safety grant called HEAT (Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Driving). Sheriff Donnie Craig said the county was awarded the grant due to its high accident fatality and injury rate. The grant is $143,200 and will be used to purchase two vehicles and fund the salary of one of the officer’s assigned to one of those vehicles.

During the November commissioner’s meeting, Sole Commissioner Robert Jones explained that due to this grant the county is required to pass a budget amendment. Jones said the grant is a reimbursable grant, meaning the county pays the allowable grant expenditures and is then reimbursed with grant funds.

“The fiscal year runs from October first to September 30th,”

he said,

“so some grant expenditures will be realized in our fiscal year 2012 and the reimbursement will (also) be applied for in 2012.”

He went on to say that this was why the county was required to pass a budget amendment for $34,280, with a balance of $108,920 budgeted in a proposed fiscal year 2013 revenue expenditure budget.

Sheriff Craig said the grant has no cash match for other funds for the next 12 months. He explained the new HEAT patrol would not only work Highways 53 and 515, but patrol the back roads as well.

“We actually started several weeks ago,”

Craig said,

“There were already 70 citations that were written in the first four days of the HEAT program. Of those, we had three or four DUIs that were taken off the roads as well as several drug arrests.”


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