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City of Decatur applies for police grants

By Bob Buckel | Published Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The city of Decatur will seek two grants for equipment for its police department following resolutions at Monday evening’s council meeting.

One of the grants is to complete the upgrade of video cameras and the related computer software and equipment in patrol vehicles. That project was started last year after the city applied for an $80,000 grant but only got about $45,000.

“It’s around $40,000,” Police Chief Rex Hoskins told the council. “This is what we left on the table last year. We were last in line and we got half, but they told us to apply again.”

No match is required from the city.

The other grant is for $75,000 for a scissor-lift watchtower.

“This is like those you see in parking lots, shopping centers, high-crime areas,” Hoskins said. “We would use it in areas like Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, the high school, where we’re having problems with burglaries of motor vehicles, thefts, etc.”

Hoskins said it is a competitive grant and again, no city match is required.

“It’s a win-win,” City Manager Brett Shannon said. “It’s zero commitment from the city, and we get zero money if we don’t get it.”

Both motions were approved unanimously.

Two other items were on the agenda. One was a routine request from CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) to close streets along the route of a 1K/5K run to be held May 17 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The run will start and end at the high school and use College and Hale streets as well as the U.S. 287 Business route. The event benefits CASA of Wise and Jack Counties.

The other item – a long-term lease agreement to allow construction of an airplane hangar on Decatur Municipal Airport property, was tabled.

“These gentlemen came to me and stated they would like a little more time to review the land lease,” said Brad Burnett, the city’s finance and airport manager. “It’s a 30-year lease with two, 10-year extensions.”

The council also changed the date of its March 10 meeting to March 17, due to the anticipated lack of a quorum during spring break.

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