Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton expressed cautious optimism regarding the Rocky Fork Lake development grant during their weekly meeting Wednesday, with Abernathy saying slow progress is being made.
“We did have some budget items approved,” Abernathy said, “but still no release of funds.”
He said that another phone conversation with the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance officials was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon to discuss “specifics as to how we want to proceed.”
“Frankly, it’s a ‘Catch-22,’” he said. “We want to proceed, but we need the funds released in order to proceed, and they want us to proceed without releasing any funds, so we have to find a way to resolve that impasse somehow.”
More than $840,000 in federal grant money is still in limbo as commissioners continue, as Abernathy said, to keep “chipping away” at complying with the BJA’s information requests, and whether the federal agency will grant the commissioners’ request for a two-year extension rather than the 12-month extension granted on Sept. 27.
The beleaguered Rocky Fork Lake Area Safety and Advancement Project is a federally funded grant to be used for crime fighting and prevention, blighted property removal and economic development in the Rocky Fork Lake region.
In other matters, a trio of proclamations were affirmed by the commissioners.
Home Healthcare Aide Week was recognized, which is from Nov. 8-14, and the month of November was proclaimed as National Home Care Month.
Representatives from Home Health Services of Highland District Hospital were present to receive the proclamation.
“I’d like to just say thank you,” Britton said. “And I know you don’t get enough of that, but those two words, I think, say it all.”
Commissioners also issued a proclamation in honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, observed from Nov. 10-18, with representatives of the Highland County Homeless Shelter receiving the proclamation.
Also Wednesday, commissioners approved line item funding transfers contained in seven resolutions for various county offices, and one contract renewal with Simplex Grinnel Fire and Security for 2019 on behalf of the Highland County Sheriff’s Department.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.