With one of the tightest budget years to date, the Starkville Police Department is ready to use extra money it was given after receiving three grants.
The biggie this year, a $122,000 non-matching reward from the Office of Highway Safety, will pay for another DUI enforcement project along with a network coordinator.
The OHS has also awarded Starkville a non-matching $15,000 occupant protection grant, while the Department of Public Safety has also handed over $40,000 for nine in-car camera systems and a viewing station in the form of desktop computers.
Police Chief David Lindley normally asks the Starkville Board of Aldermen for permission to buy new equipment to keep the Police Department competitive and effective, but this year, officials have asked all department heads not to submit a wish-list.
“This equipment money assists us in acquiring the needed working tools that we otherwise could not afford to purchase with these difficult budget times,” Lindley said Thursday.
Additionally, the department has not had an increase in its overtime budget in several years, he added.
“And one way we can continue to be able to provide adequate service is through funds from overtime grants,” Lindley said.
The department’s success in receiving recent grants is largely due to the efforts of Police Department Sgt. Shawn Word, officials say, who was named as the city’s employee of the month Tuesday.
Word, who began working for the SPD over 10 years ago, has been writing grants for the department for more than five years.
“It started off as volunteer work,” he said.
“I saw a chance to find extra funds that would not cost the city and one led to another and then another.”
Along with writing grant proposals, Word also carries the responsibilities of overseeing police presence in the courts, warrants, the community-oriented policing unit, the D.A.R.E. program and the Starkville Housing Authority.
He is currently administrating of eight grants.
Word was presented with praise from Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas and a plaque from city leaders.
“I’ve got an administration that thanks me for the extras I do, but it still felt good,” he said.
The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the grants Tuesday during its regularly scheduled meeting.
In other business Tuesday, the board also approved the following:
• The grant application from the Mississippi Department of Human Services for the Brickfire Project.
• A one-year agreement with the Office of Highway Safety for a network coordinator and DUI enforcement project grant in the amount of $122,000.
No match is required from the Starkville Police Department.
• A one-year agreement with the OHS for an occupant protection grant in the amount of $15,000. No match from the SPD is required.
• An agreement with the Department of Public Safety for a homeland security grant in the amount of $40,000 for in-car camera systems.
• Calling for a pubic hearing on modifying the sign ordinance.
• Calling for a public hearing on amending the sidewalk ordinance to provide for variances and an appeal process.
• The 2011 contract for legal services for Christ Latimer of Mitchell, McNutt & Sams.
• Purchasing nine in-car camera systems at a price of $35,055 and a viewing station in the form of desktop computers in the amount of $4,9381 for a total cost of $39,993.41.
• Purchasing sewer manholes for $5,688 from Hanson Pipe and Precast for the Sudduth Road Sewer Project.
• Proceeding with Falcon Engineering to repair and level failing areas in new pavements on Montgomery Street and Whitfield Street for $11,830.
• Proceeding with BK Edwards Fabrication and Welding to install foundations and piping for new pumps at the Sand Road pump station for $27,104.
• Appointments to the Tree Advisory Board, the Library Board of Trustees and Starkville Housing Authority.
• A pay estimate of $45,896 for J.J. Ferguson Sand and Gravel for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project, phase II.
• A pay estimate of $118,260 for Ja Marc Construction for the Reed Road Widening Project.
• A final pay estimate of $7,757.35 for Weathers Construction for the Hospital Road pedestrian improvement project.
• A pay estimate of $61,674 for the Pat Station roadway project.
• The low proposal of $16,830 from Hester Fence Company for the Gillespie Street pedestrian project.
• The low proposal of $11,650 from Stidham Construction for the West Main drainage improvement project.
• A final pay estimate of $3,276.71 for Renrock Construction for a drainage improvement project in 2009 on Hollis Creek.
• A pay estimate of $13,349 for Springer Engineering for the Reed Road Widening Project.
• Hiring James Daniel Smith as equipment operator for the new construction and rehab division of the public services department.
• Advertising to fill the position of radio operator and records clerk in the police department.
• Hiring Justin T. Mitchell as City Hall custodian.
• The 2011 multi-modal grant for sealcoat and mark parallel taxiways and ramps at George M. Bryan Field in the amount of $175,630.
• Advertising for sealed bids for sealcoating and marking parallel taxiways and ramps at Bryan Field.
• An engineering contract for project development, design and bid services for sealcoating and marking parallel taxiways and ramps at Bryan Field.
• A pay request of $129,929 from APAC Inc. for the runway rehabilitation project
• All claims as of September 2, 1020.
• A self-funded group health program for city employees of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, effective Oct. 1, 2010.