LEPC Talks Grant

WAPAKONETA — Plans for spending Homeland Security grant money remain on hold as members of the Auglaize County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) determine the best use.

“We are holding some funds,” Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency Director Troy Anderson said. “Either we will attempt to go back at it or determine a new way to spend it.”

The county is expected to receive approximately $33,000 through the grant this year, 50 percent less than it received in 2011. With some funds remaining from the 2011 grant, Anderson said they are waiting to decide how to spend it based on further discussions.

Originally, plans were to use $66,789 funded through the grant last year to pay for a law enforcement training facility, but they are on their fourth appeal with the state as they continue to answer questions and make tweaks to plans for the project, Anderson said.

“If we don’t get it this time, we’re going to re-evaluate, look at what else we can do,” Anderson said.

Possibilities include continuing with school bus radio upgrades and purchasing a portable generator, which would be stored at the Neil Armstrong Airport and could be used there or at shelter sites as needed.

Approximately $7,300 has been set aside for a generator, based on what county emergency response officials thought they would need, but the state has told them they need a larger generator, which would cost $25,000.

“We still have time to decide what we want to do,” Anderson said. “We can combine years as long as they are Homeland Security grants.”

He said they had started phasing in the bus radio project in the past but never completed it.

“It’s things like this we need to look at,” Anderson said. “Do we put this year’s funds toward projects we’ve already started or start new projects? Then, we have to decide how we want to divide the money among projects.

“We’re trying to do it in steps and right now we don’t have enough funding to handle our needs,” he said. “We’re still working on our priorities.”