Welcome aboard. The editor of the Daily Guide has notified me that effectively immediately, due to the redesign of the Daily Guide newspaper, they will cut my column length to about 450 words in the print edition. They also told me they would place the entire column on their web site for their readers. This will mean a change in the way I present information in the column. I will have to weigh the information to be presented and guess correctly which information is the most important that the readers will want to read. I suspect I will not guess correctly all the time.
As of Wednesday, April 22, we have a total of three grants that have been successfully submitted to the federal government for a review process. None of these grants gave a date by which the selection announcements would have been made, so when I get the e-mail from the blue with the final answer I will pass it on to the county residents as soon as possible.
We have found another federal grant and it appears we have a shot at a grant of up to $58,610 for equipment, training, and so forth. The deadline date for this grant will be May 18. I have asked the grant writers at the Meramec Regional Planning Commission to assist me once again on this grant. At this time we are trying to decide what we need to apply for under this grant. I have already set the grant account up with the user name and passwords needed. The people at MRPC have already entered some of the basic information about Pulaski County into the online grant application system. Next we will forward the raw data, the price quotes and the written justifications for our requests. The folks at MRPC will put the information into the correct grant application format. Working together we made a good team on the last three grants and I suspect we will do just fine on this one.
Then we have the 2010 Missouri Department of Traffic Safety grant application waiting for action. We will have to decide what to ask for and supply the justifications for our requests. I have done our last two successful Missouri Department of Transportation grants on my own and I will do this one on my own. The 2010 period will run from Oct. 1 of this year to Sept. 30 of next year.
Starting May 1, we will begin enforcement work on the 2009 MoDOT traffic enforcement grant. We are getting a late start on this grant due to other problems. We were allowed over $7,000 worth of free equipment from this (DG readers, we are at 450 words) grant and we will also get $5,005 worth of paid overtime for the deputies to do traffic enforcement. The grand total on this grant is just a few dollars short of $13,000.00 worth of free equipment and overtime pay for the deputies.
According to the 2007 Missouri Traffic Safety Compendium, out of 114 Missouri counties, Pulaski ranks as 27th-highest in overall accident frequency. Pulaski ranks at 22nd-highest in the state for speed-related crashes and 23rd-highest in drinking-related crashes. For the year 2007, we had 15 fatal accidents, 241 injury accidents and 801 property damage accidents for a grand total of 1,057 accidents for the year. So the bottom line is that Pulaski County needs more traffic enforcement.
In other news, we are still at work on the used cars we bought from Phelps County. Progress is slow but we are short on people to do the work and we have no money to pay for the work to be done. So progress will continue to be slow.
It appears that the Pulaski County Commission will pass on the chance to bid for the Missouri State License Fee office. Bids have now opened and the Daily Guide reported that the County Commission would pass on the opportunity.
On May 4, the St. Robert City Council will vote on a proposal to place a quarter-cent sales tax on the ballot to promote the park system in the city of St. Robert. Before this election issue even gets started, I will predict that the issue will pass. It will also mean that the sales tax rate on businesses in the St. Robert Boulevard area, including Wal-Mart, will go over the eight percent mark. If I did my math correctly this would mean that for every four dollars spent a tax of one cent would be collected. Not exactly a killer rate to pay for the kids.
Over the past four weeks I have been extremely busy with our federal grants. I have missed several chances to send out media releases on good work that our deputies have completed. We had a shooting incident last night in the county and I hope to have sufficient information soon for a release. The summer rush has started and the deputies are busy.
I am over the old suggested word count so I will close out for today. Please drive careful we do not want to stop you for a traffic violation. But we also do not want to help load you in the ambulance after a car wreck. Please keep your actions legal; we do not have money to house you in the jail. But if you must visit, you will enjoy our new light fixtures and all of the light bulbs work.