Nolensville aims to be the first Williamson County government to take advantage of Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding just as the state approves traffic enforcement funding.
The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding program — established by the federal government on April 14, 2020 — could allocate as much as $75,000 to Nolensville, but the city’s application has yet to be approved. Town Manager Victor Lay indicated to the mayor and commissioners that city staff had already applied for the grant and that a resolution would be forthcoming to accept whatever funds the U.S. Justice Department sees fit to approve.
City staff has corresponded its efforts in this regard with Nolensville Police Department on how to adequately channel the funds for the city’s law enforcement needs. The town hopes to use it to fund a broad miscellany of equipment both related and not related to COVID from personal protective equipment to cones and barriers.
In addition to PPE, they also aim to acquire electronic ticket devices for each individual officer along with printers for each unit. This requires the whole department to assimilate to a new software program that comes with the devices and then license each officer as an individual user.
Montique Luster, town recorder, told Williamson Home Page the PPE request covers a broad range of items as well: “masks, face shields, gloves, disposable blankets, sanitizer, bulletproof glass, bulletproof vests, safety barriers and traffic cones,” Luster listed.
Tennessee’s municipal governments — some cities and some counties — have already claimed approximately $7.2 million from the program. Metro Nashville, for example, has already claimed over $1.5 million for Davidson County whereas Murfreesboro alone was approved for nearly $153,000. Wilson County as a whole claimed $58,000. Davidson County’s claim comes second only to the City of Memphis with well over $2.5 million in total funding.
Neither Williamson County nor any city therein has accessed any CESF funds to date. Town staff expects to be notified by Nov. 15 as to whether or not the grant has been approved.
This comes as the town passed a resolution on Thursday, Oct. 7 accepting funds from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office on a contract between the U.S. Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the state and Nolensville Police Department. The application as approved splits a total of $42,000 in half, allocating $21,000 to police overtime hours and the other half to capital project expenditures.
The capital projects that can be funded through this grant are related to community-based traffic safety enforcement and education.
“The police department has also hired a new officer who has years of experience and is bilingual,” Luster mentioned.
This comes two years after the department announced on its Facebook page that THSO had awarded them a similar figure of $43,720 in September 2019. That grant was used for equipment and, once again, overtime compensation. The department reported at the time that the overtime hours are necessary to efficiently cover traffic enforcement.
Both then and now, the department reports back to THSO quarterly on expenditures from the grant funding and submits to two audits per year.
"Traditionally we spend the capital outlay funds on equipment pre-approved by the THSO," Chief Parker told Home Page.