While the federal government’s shut down, because the country has reached its debt limit, money is still being handed out to county governments, in the name of security.
Sheridan County’s award from the Office of Homeland Security this time around totals $68,000.
The amount is a vast reduction from amounts received in the years immediately following the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 as per the Homeland Security Act of 2002. County Commissioner Tom Ringley questioned the reduction, following the grant announcements and subsequent approvals during Tuesday’s commission meeting. The county's Administrative Director Renee Obermueller offered clarifications, joined by Commissioner Bob Rolston.
The audience of one learned the bulk of this year’s grant funds, or nearly $56,400, falls under national preparedness and will be used, as the administrative director pointed out, to continue creating a more secure area for the clerk of district court's office at the county courthouse.
The two other grants are for the sheriff’s office and coroner, for $9,100 and $2,755, respectively. We don't know, yet, exactly what the money will be used for because neither the coroner nor sheriff were at the meeting and no specific details were offered, other than to say purchases must fit within the perimeters of the grants.