Thursday, April 7, 2011

County sets formula for consensus block grant

By Karla Pomeroy

Big Horn County will receive just under $1 million to share with municipalities as part of the 2011 consensus block grant.

Grants administrator Chris Harp presented the figures to the Big Horn County commissioners at Tuesday's regular meeting. The county will receive $932,781.11 and the commissioners, Harp said, are tasked with developing the formula for distribution. Once the formula is set the mayors and commissioners can meet and approve projects.

Harp presented five options to the commissioners Tuesday, including the past formula that includes a $35,000 base award for the county and municipalities, and then a calculated formula of $49.95 per resident. Harp said the $35,000 base might not be as manageable since the award was less than past consensus block grants. He said the $932,000 is about a third of what the county received in the last biennium.

Commissioner Keith Grant said the municipalities agreed to the previous formula so they should stay with the $35,000 base award. The other commissioners agreed. Harp said he will contact the mayors to try and set up a meeting this month. Since the last meeting with the mayors was in Greybull, the next meeting will be in Byron.

The breakdown for funding under the $35,000 base award is as follows:
Lovell $152,874.82
Greybull $127,252.03
Basin $99,181.84
Cowley $67,715.26
Byron $64,618.55
Burlington $49,384.72
Frannie $41,892.68
Deaver $43,890.56
Manderson $40,693,95
County/Special Districts $245,276.69.

Grant said he would like to see the county/special district portion used to remodel the old jail as a secured court.

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