By MARY RAINWATER
During a special meeting Friday, Anderson County commissioners gave the go-ahead to Sheriff Greg Taylor to apply for a grant that would help fund salaries for two additional drug unit investigators for the department.
“We are in the process of completing the COPS 2013 Hiring Program grant application, which will fund 75 percent of the salary of an entry level position,” Taylor told commissioners. “We currently have a one-man drug task force, which... leaves us in a lurch and we are not being as effective as we should be in battling the drug issue in the county.”
With the funding, the sheriff hopes to bring in two additional investigators to work in the drug task force.
Costs to the county, Taylor said, include $7,050 (to make up the difference between a deputy and an investigator salary) plus the 25 percent to match the grant.
“It will require an investment of $34,715 for two investigators for the first three years,” he said, “and provisions of the grant require the county to make a full investment for the fourth year, which will cost $96,500.
“We need the court’s approval to go ahead with this,” Taylor added. “It was take some money on our part.”
County Judge Robert Johnston stated that he was fully supportive of obtaining the grant.
“Having three investigators compared to having one investigator will bring us exponentially greater results in drug investigations,” the judge said. “It is a small price to pay to fight the county’s drug problem.”
Also on Friday, the court:
• APPROVED budget amendments.
• APPROVED an oil and gas lease agreement with Kodiac Exploration LLC for a 205.24 acres tract of land identified as the Stephen Crist Survey, abstract 15, block 907, tract 5. The lease has a value of $305 per mineral acre, with a total lease amount of $36,943.
• APPROVED an increase in pay from $10 to $12 per hour for two part time sheriff office employees.
• APPROVED a five-year lease agreement with a five-year option between Anderson County and Women’s Health Connections for a building at 205 E. Brazos Street.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org