By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Department applied for and was awarded a $9,534 grant for purchasing law enforcement equipment including tasers.
The Budget Committee approved the amendment during its January monthly meeting, one of them being for the sheriff's department to accept the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Formula program.
The $9,534 is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds.
It was unanimously approved after a motion to accept was made by 7th District Commissioner Mike Harvel. Harvel's motion was supported by Terry Carter, 6th District commissioner.
Cumberland County Finance Director Nathan Brock also included information about a grant the Art Circle Library applied for through the state for new computers. The library was awarded the grant for two computers and the total is $1,327.50. It is a 50 percent matching grant so the Art Circle Library Foundation will pay $663.75 and the state will pay $663.75.
"There is no paperwork ready yet, but this is coming and is just an FYI for the committee to know about," Brock said.
In other areas, commissioners gave their input on upcoming budget hearings for fiscal year 2013-'14.
Cumberland County 1st District Commissioner and Budget Committee Chairman Harry Sabine said, "The idea is to have all of the proposed budget handed back into the county for committee review beginning in April. A lot of the budgets are the same and we can lump as many as those into one day as we can and look at each one, then the rest we can look at and schedule hearings for them on Tuesday and Thursday nights like before, or we can try it another way."
Sabine also suggested having the hearings on Saturdays and going through as many of those budgets as possible.
Several commissioners, including Jeff Brown, 8th District; John Kinunen, 9th District; Terry Carter, 6th District; and Mike Harvel, 7th District, said they thought meeting on a Saturday was a good idea.
They said staffing should be a separate issue as well as increased revenue for new staff members.
The committee plans to have department heads attend the meetings when their department is scheduled to be reviewed in case there are any questions about their budget.