Eagle County Sheriff’s Office wants stimulus money | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Sheriff’s Office wants stimulus money

Chris Outcalt
Eagle County, CO Colorado

The Issue: Stimulus money for the sheriff’s office

Who they talked to: Kim Andree, administrative lieutenant

What happened: The sheriff’s office wants some stimulus money, too.

The department has put together a list of projects that could be funded by stimulus grants. Andree presented that list Tuesday to the commissioners

The preliminary 13-item list included things like more deputies and vehicles, money for a new sub-station in the Edwards field house, front office staff and evidence storage equipment.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Grants that applied to hiring new patrol officers were only good for three years. The commissioners were hesitant to support applying for the money because the county would be responsible for paying the officers after the grant money ran out.

“When you hire new people there’s huge expectations of that ongoing,” Commissioner Peter Runyon said. “Because of uncertain economic times we’re looking at where we can cut back staff everywhere.”

Andree said It makes sense to apply for the money now and make a final decisions on whether to use it. Even if the county applied for the grant and got it, the commissioners could still decide not to accept it, she said.

“The strongest single thing I keep hearing them say is that you gotta apply, you have to ask for it first,” Andree said. “We may apply and get nothing.”

But getting the money and deciding not to fund the positions could be a difficult spot to get into, Commissioner Sara Fisher said.

“It puts us in an awkward position to say no,” she said. “I think it would behoove us to sit down and talk about the philosophy and make sure we’re all on the same page in anticipation of applying.”

What’s next? The commissioners asked for more detail on some of the items and will sit down with members of the Sheriff’s Office at some point to talk about what grants to apply for.

Who they talked to: Tom Johnson, county facilities director

What happened: The justice center expansion, airport interchange and renewable energy projects are all on the commissioners short-list of things they’d like to get stimulus money for.

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall asked the county send his office a list of its top five projects. Officials started working on the list last week.

Other projects on the list include the Red Cliff wastewater treatment facility, which needs to be replaced, and additional improvements to the airport that haven’t been done because of funding problems.

What’s next? Johnson will finalize the list and send it to Udall.

Support Local Journalism