County urges sheriff to seek grant funds from federal stimulus package

Darrell Todd Maurina

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (March 2, 2009) — Pulaski County Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall told his fellow commissioners Monday that newly elected Gov. Jay Nixon is trying to alert cities and counties to the availability of grant funds through President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

Ransdall noted that the Missouri Association of Counties recently sent out a letter reminding Missouri county commissions that Nixon has produced a centralized website,, for local government agencies to “submit proposals for projects and ideas that will use federal recovery dollars to create Missouri jobs and transform the state’s economy for the 21st century.”

The Missouri Association of Counties e-mail also noted that Obama’s stimulus plan includes $2.76 billion in funding for state and local law enforcement and for other criminal and juvenile justice activities.

“The sheriff needs to pay close attention to that,” Ransdall said, noting the availability of $125 million designated specifically for rural law enforcement with a focus on preventing and combating drug-related crime.

Ransdall also asked about other cost saving measures for the sheriff’s department, including a 17-cent per gallon discount on gas purchased by deputies at a specific Crocker gas station.

“Is the sheriff using that 17 cents a gallon?” Ransdall asked.

Commissioner Bill Farnham said he didn’t know details.

“They are using it some, but not a lot. It’s only when they’re going through the area,” Farnham said.

Ransdall said it may be possible to increase the usage of the Crocker gas station, especially when deputies transport prisoners from the Pulaski County Jail to the Dixon City Jail or te Miller County jail.

“For prisoner transport, they’d be going every time they’re on the way to Miller County, or they could take 133 to Dixon,” Ransdall said.

Besides the $125 million available for rural law enforcement related to drug crime, Ransdall noted that the stimulus package would provide $225 million in competitive grants, $50 million for internet crimes against children initiatives, and $100 million for victim compensation and assistance. The main funding package has $2 billion for a number of projects with allocations divided between states and territories based on their share of the country’s violent crime and population, and allocated at 60 percent for state law enforcement and 40 percent for local governments.

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