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MRPC not sure of application details for potential sheriff's stimulus grant
MRPC not sure of application details for potential sheriff's stimulus grant

County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer reviews stimulus grant documents for law enforcement.
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (March 19, 2009) — Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall has asked Sheriff J.B. King to find ways to use the federal economic stimulus package to help local law enforcement, but County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer said Thursday that she’s been having trouble finding help on applying for the grants.

“I contacted the Meramec Regional Planning Commission regarding the justice assistance grant; they said they were aware of it but did not have any of the particulars. So I emailed the address on the grant and they sent me a whole packet of information,” Linnenbringer said.

The Meramec Regional Planning Commission is a St. James-based organization whose purposes include helping member cities and counties apply and administer grants. The county has received extensive prior assistance from the organization and Ransdall had asked King and Linnenbringer to get help from them in making a speedy application for the stimulus funds.

Linnenbringer said an initial review of the grant documentation indicates the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department may be eligible to apply for funds.

“It appears there may be money for officers, but I haven’t gone through the whole thing,” Linnenbringer said.

The county commission didn’t conduct much business Thursday since one commissioner, Ricky Zweerink, wanted to attend state-level competition of the Laquey R-V School District’s basketball team. The commissioners voted on Monday to declare Wednesday and Thursday as “Hornet Pride Days” and agreed not to do any controversial tasks at their regular Thursday meeting when Zweerink would be gone.

However, Ransdall questioned Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham on his spending, noting that he’s recently spent $4,161 from Federal Emergency Management Agency funds on repairing road damage from flooding last spring.

Farnham said repair on the Jones Creek Bridge continues to progress slowly and said the intersection of Cardinal and Creek roads was severely washed out and needed major repair work.

Ransdall said he’s received a letter from the Missouri Department of Labor noting that because Missouri has entered a “period of excessive unemployment,” the county is now required to use only workers from Missouri or other similarly affected states when doing public works projects. That includes projects contracted out; the contractors must follow the same regulations.

A period of “excessive unemployment” is defined as two months in which the unemployment rate exceeds 5 percent. Many but not all adjacent states are in a similar situation, including Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky but not including Iowa or Illinois.

Other affected states and American territories, according to the Department of Labor, include Alabama, American Samoa, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

In other business, Ransdall told Farnham that he and Zweerink may be able to obtain some low-priced road equipment from Phelps County, which is in the process of selling several items.

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