A public hearing was held at the Harlan County Courthouse by the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office on Friday to allow comments from the public on a vehicle grant received by the department.
No opposition was presented against utilizing the grant for the purchase of three new police cruisers.
“This meeting was held in regard to a vehicle grant we requested and, hopefully, about to receive from the Department of Agriculture,” said Chief Deputy Winston Yeary Jr. “The grant is approximately $75,000 to purchase three new vehicles.”
Yeary said by holding these public meetings it affords the community a chance to make comments either for or against the acquisition of this grant. The meeting was advertised in the Harlan Daily Enterprise giving everyone a chance to express their views.
“I can’t imagine anyone not wanting us to have these funds,” said Yeary. “I’m sure the county will be glad for us to get some outside money instead of having to use Harlan County taxpayer money.”
Yeary added this is not a matching grant. He said the $75,000 will be for the purchase of the three vehicles, but not for the equipment needed for each vehicle.
“We’ll have to purchase the equipment for each vehicle,” said Yeary. “The additional equipment will cost anywhere from $5,000 to $8,000. However, that’s not a lot compared to $30,000 to $33,000 if we had to purchase the vehicles ourselves. This is a great opportunity for the sheriff’s office to obtain new vehicles. It will save the county money cutting down on our maintenance expense on some of our older models. These newer vehicles get better gas mileage, saving money there also. It will also help our department budget better all the way around.”
Yeary said some of the older vehicles may be taken off the road with this new grant and their equipment placed in the new vehicles to save additional money.
“These new vehicles will offer greater safety for our deputies as they are traveling the roads across the county,” said Yeary. “It will also provide the opportunity for our department to offer better service to the residents of Harlan County.”
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