During its meeting on May 16th the Montgomery County Commission heard from Grants Administrator Regina Walker about federal funds available for repaving projects in the county.

Walker asked the commission's permission to apply for a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant that would give the county funds to cover the cost of two projects. These projects include repaving the parking lot of the Montgomery County activity center and the walking trail at Elton Dean Park.

In order to be eligible for the grants the county would have to cover a 20% “match” which would equal about $130,000, Walker said. This investment would allow the county to complete around $600,000 worth of work, according to Walker, for an out-of-pocket cost of $130,000.

In order for the commission to vote on whether or not to apply for the grant on an accelerated timeline they would have to waive the normal rules by unanimous consent. Commissioner Dan Harris immediately said that he was not in favor of waiving rules because the application required a “match”.

Harris said that his objection was due to the $130,000 the county would have to spend that was not included in this year's budget. He suggested that the commission put aside a certain amount of funds each year to cover the cost of “matching” grant opportunities as they become available.

Commission chair Doug Singleton told Harris that both of the projects to be covered are repairs that are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the county would be “forced” to fix them “sooner or later.”

Still, Harris did not withdraw his objection and allow a vote to move forward and the county to apply for the grants.

After hearing a second reading on the measure at their next meeting the commission can vote to approve the funds or not.

The next meeting of the Montgomery County Commission will be held on Tuesday June 6th at 9:00 a.m. at the Montgomery County courthouse annex 3.