The Olustee Town Board of Trustees learned recently that the town was awarded a $75,000 Rural Economic Action Plan grant to buy a new backhoe/loader.
Town officials told the board during its Dec. 7 meeting that the grant, which does not require a local match, had been awarded. The board did not take additional action on the issue.
The Southern Oklahoma Development Association administers REAP grants, which are awarded to cities, counties, senior centers and fire departments. Grants are awarded through a competitive bidding process that ranks applicants based on several standards, including the applicants’ current operating budget, the type of project and the project’s significance.
In other business, the board voted 4-0 to spend up to $33,000 to buy a new police truck and sell at least one of the police department’s current vehicles. Mayor Patty Light was absent.
The town plans to buy the new truck with money Olustee received under the CARES Act, a federal law which provided financial assistance for local and state governments coping with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government had refunded the money Olustee spent on police salaries and benefits during the pandemic, and the town is putting that money back into the police department by purchasing the new truck.