From staff reports
OKOLONA – Residents in Okolona may have noticed some shiny new vehicles around town as the city gained some assistance in purchasing a new garbage truck and two new police cars.
Grants from USDA Rural Development were used in conjunction with city funds to acquire the new equipment. Mayor Sherman Carouthers said that the new police cars were necessary for the nine-officer department.
“We received notification that we were awarded the grant and are going through the procurement process,” Carouthers said. “The cars are needed to have that visible presence in the community and keep officers in place to protect the community.”
The acquisition of the garbage truck took some time as the application for the grant was submitted in Nov. 2006 but the city was not awarded the funding until 2008.
“We followed up with the need and urgency for this truck,” Carouthers said.
In April 2008 bids were taken and Carouthers said that the estimates ran higher than were predicted in 2006. The original purchase amount submitted was $97,0085 and the new truck’s actual cost two years later was $102,120. The Rural Development grant paid 55 percent of the cost to put the truck on the road.
“We did not want to resubmit and start over after it took two years to get it,” Carouthers said. “We run the truck everyday (excluding weekends) on various routes in the city.”
The new truck and cars are currently on the road and in good condition to serve the community.