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Some Putnam Commissioners Interested In Changing Grant Rules

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Some Putnam Commissioners Interested In Changing Grant Rules

Some Putnam County Commissioners are interested in giving Mayor Randy Porter the chance to apply for grants without first getting commission approval.

The idea came up during the August commission meeting when Commissioner Sam Sandlin questioned why Porter needed approval to simply apply. Commissioners were voting on a request from Porter to allow him to apply for any grant that could help fund the development of a new park.

“Well, it makes sense because Randy Porter is a grown man,” Commissioner Darren Wilson said. “He’s a wonderful county executive. He knows how to run his job. He doesn’t need our permission. Well, he does currently, but he shouldn’t need our permission to apply for free money for the county, for the betterments of the citizens of our county. So, in my opinion, I think it’s a no-brainer.”

Commissioners still must approve the receipt of a grant, since money coming into the county is involved. If the commissioners did not want the grant, they could always deny that approval.

Porter said the process change would help with time constraints, as the county often does not find out about a grant until just days before an application is due. Several commissioners, including Wilson, wanted to change the rules during the meeting, but commission rules prohibit that.

“I would like to see it go before the Rules Committee and be addressed in September’s County Commission meeting to be adopted into as a new way of doing business,” Wilson said. “I just think the grants, some of them are on time limits and it’s a quick turnaround time. And I’m sure we have missed some grants in the past. And I just think this frees up the opportunity for us to apply for free money for the county to use for projects and for maybe even some specific projects that the state brings down and maybe even some federal grants.”

Wilson said the grants save taxpayers dollars in terms of direct payments made with property or sales tax. Most are from the state or federal government and are still paid for with tax dollars. Some residents across the Upper Cumberland have urged more oversight over grant approval, citing the matches that are often required and the real need for the items being sought.

Porter said during the meeting he did not know when the commission first implemented the rule. Wilson said he thinks the rule change would pass unanimously.


The post Some Putnam Commissioners Interested In Changing Grant Rules appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.