After accepting a $258,000 grant from the U.S. Office of Violence Against Women, Hamilton County Commissioners discussed the process behind considering and accepting future grants.
The group unanimously voted to accept the funds, which will be put toward training judges and court officers who handle domestic abuse cases.
The group quickly moved through their agenda Wednesday, approving purchases and resolutions for county functions with little to no discussion. Upon concluding business, Commissioner Joe Graham told the group he intended to introduce a resolution which would allow the commission to review the county’s applications for grants before their submission, which is typically done by the mayor.
“Any grant that’s applied for might cause undue burden or pressure,” Graham said. “We need to be made aware of these grants prior to when the application is turned in. I know there’s a lot of really good money out there, but some of the grant money is very expensive and could wind up costing the county millions of dollars before we accept it.”
Mayor Jim Coppinger responded to Graham’s comments by saying initial review by commissioners could put a “hinderance” on the county’s routine for seeking funds outside regular revenue streams. Coppinger said that commissioners still would reserve the final authority to approve or deny the county’s entry into agreements regarding grants.
“You have the most powerful input right now,” Coppinger said. “At the end of the day, you say you either want to fund a grant or you don’t, and if you don’t, it goes away. You have that authority now.”
Commissioners determined to hold additional discussion on Graham’s proposal during next week’s agenda session, when it will be on the agenda.