County gets loan for new sheriff’s vehicles

Published 9:12 am Thursday, March 1, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Office has approved a $165,000 loan and a $25,000 grant, which will be used to purchase six new patrol vehicles for the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department.

The announcement was made by U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop’s Office on Monday. The terms of the loan are for five years at 3.75 percent.

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners announced its intention to apply for the loan-grant package at the Tuesday, Feb. 14, board meeting.

Commissioners also stated at that meeting that the county has used loan programs like this in the past, to purchase large-value items for the Sheriff’s Office and other departments.

Sheriff Wiley Griffin said the application process is a formality required by the federal government, and that the Sheriff’s Office has not yet solicited bids for the vehicles. He said the Sheriff’s Office normally buys about six vehicles a year, to keep its fleet up-to-date.

Griffin also said the federal program is especially beneficial, because the county does not have to pay interest on the loan in the first year.