City uses grant money to improve communications

Published 10:34 pm Sunday, January 29, 2017

During its Jan. 23 meeting, the Washington City Council approved the purchase of equipment to improve the Washington Police Department’s communications system.

The council unanimously voted to spend $18,263.33 for a Motorola MTR 3000 VHF 100 W repeater system from Amerizon Wireless. It also adopted a budget ordinance resolution and approved a purchase order for the equipment.

In 2016, the council authorized the submission of a grant application to the Governor’s Crime Commission for funding for the repeater system. On May 19, 2016, a $23,829 grant was awarded to the police department. The funds were released in November 2016. The remaining $5,565.67 left after the purchase of the repeater system will be used to buy a generator and moving costs associated with the repeater system, according to a memorandum from Stacy Drakeford, the city’s director of police and fire services.

In other business, the council adopted a budget ordinance amendment to allocated funds to cover expenses related to Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts. “The original estimate of expenses related to Hurricane Matthew is being adjusted by $13,126 to reflect actual expenses for additional material and insurance deductible for the Electric Fund,” wrote Matt Rauschenbach, the city’s administrative services director and chief financial officer, in a memorandum to the mayor and council members.

Washington officials estimate the city’s expenses related to Hurricane Matthew at $377,801.64, and it wants the federal government and state government to reimburse it for eligible expenses. The city’s nearly $378,000 in storm-related expenditures include overtime salaries, fuel, food, safety gear such as boots, debris removal and equipment repair. Adjustments will be made as expenditures and reimbursement claims are finalized, according to a city document.

Public assistance work is well under way with its task of reimbursing state, tribal and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for their recovery work. To date, more than $8 million have been obligated. The public assistance program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and North Carolina Emergency Management.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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