The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 26, 2013

Jasper County Commission to review police requests for funding from sales tax proceeds

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Nearly $150,000 in recommended allocations to Jasper County law enforcement agencies will be considered by the County Commission at 9 a.m. Thursday, but a decision on a final funding request will await another meeting of the county’s Law Enforcement Sales Tax Grant Board.

The board met Tuesday and decided to table action on funding sought by the campus police force at Missouri Southern State University. Remaining grants to 11 law enforcement agencies recommended earlier by the board were forwarded to the County Commission for final action.

The board earlier had tabled the MSSU request until a department budget could be submitted. Members decided Tuesday that more information is needed, according to Jim Woestman, grant board chairman.

The MSSU department had submitted a request for just over $31,000 to buy two used vehicles and uniforms. Some on the board questioned allocating county tax money to a department of the university, which is funded by the state. Ken Kennedy, MSSU department chief, told the board at an earlier meeting that state universities had been hit with several years of funding cuts. He said his officers were driving vehicles that were purchased used or were given to the department by other cities.

Woestman said he would seek a meeting with university officials to discuss the issues surrounding the request before the panel makes a recommendation.

Board members in November decided that the MSSU department was eligible to apply for grant funds. Kennedy at the time told the board that his officers are commissioned by the state, and that the operation has mutual-aid agreements with the Joplin, Webb City, Duquesne and Carterville police departments.

Remaining grant requests recommended to the commission would provide funding to 11 agencies for purchases ranging from vehicles to stun guns to computers. The largest allocation was to the Jasper Police Department, at just over $23,000 for a vehicle. The smallest was to the Jasper County Juvenile Department, nearly $1,800 for purchases that include office furniture.

Nearly $182,000 is available for allocation, including some funds carried over from last year.



Proceeds

LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES in the county are to share 4.3 percent of the revenues from the sales tax. Collections from the quarter-cent tax topped $4 million last year.

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