The agenda item before Commissioners Court was authorization to apply for as much as 7-million dollars in federal stimulus money. Commissioner Steve Radack says the actual amount will be split 50-50 with the city of Houston.
“We’ll get the inter local agreed to. And then, the city will ask specifically for what they want and we’ll ask specifically for what we want.”
Then the application will be sent to the U.S. Justice Department and a grant program that has been allocated 2-billion dollars in stimulus money. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says the money is earmarked for law enforcement.
“This is an ongoing program, long before stimulus was every heard of. All the stimulus has to do with it is that Congress and the administration in Washington authorized more money to go into an existing program.”
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia would like to use the money to lease and staff a helicopter, purchase a van for surveillance and put machine guns on boats that patrol the Houston Ship Channel. Judge Emmett was asked how that would qualify as stimulus for economic recovery.
“Anything where you’re purchasing goods and services under the Obama Administration in Congress qualifies as stimulus. I mean, you’re actually generating jobs by purchasing things. That’s what this is.”
Before the grant application is submitted to Washington, Commissioners must specify what the money will be used for.
Pat Hernandez, KUHF…Houston Public Radio News.