Polk approves $1 million budget for WEG

Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2018

TIEC plans to spend $1,339,320 on inner circle emergency services

MILL SPRING — Polk County has a budget in place for the $1 million the state of North Carolina granted for the upcoming World Equestrian Games.

The budget includes spending the grant solely on the outer circle, to protect the county outside of the Tryon International Equestrian Center.

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TIEC plans to spend $1,339,320 on security, fire, law enforcement, medical and communications inside the facility, located off Pea Ridge Road in Mill Spring.

The WEG is set for Sept. 11-23, with horses expected to begin arriving Sept. 2.

Polk County plans to spend its $1 million grant on funding extra expenses to local fire and police departments, the Polk County Rescue Squad, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County EMS, communications and the RPM Health District. Funding to local departments is expected to total $472,183.

Other uses of the grant will go to house and feed outside departments, with regional and state agencies coming in to help.

Polk County has budgeted $78,326 for three meals a day from Sept. 11 through Sept. 23 at $7 per meal for outside emergency personnel.

The county has also budgeted $224,489 for lodging for state emergency personnel from the grant funding.

“We appreciate the grant from the state of North Carolina that will minimize the impact of the World Equestrian Games on the local and state government agencies tasked with keeping citizens safe during the event,” Polk County Manager Marche Pittman said Monday. “We intend to hold each agency receiving funds accountable and to require strict documentation to ensure that the grant is spent appropriately.”

The inner circle inside TIEC received $225,000 in grant funding, according to the county’s documentation. TIEC will spend $15,000 on fire/rescue, $144,000 on site security, $141,120 on law enforcement, $338,000 on barn security, $627,500 on medical Atrium and Med 1 and $73,700 on communications.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners approved the budget for the WEG grant during a meeting last week.

Polk County Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshal Bobby Arledge told commissioners the grant is accounted for, including food and lodging for outside emergency departments coming in. He said Green Creek Fire Department is expected to use more of the funding because they are directly affected, including the parking lot on Highway 9.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson asked what would happen with leftover funding.

Pittman said the budget is tight. He said he anticipates some of the departments will not spend all the money, but he thinks other departments will make it up.

There is about $35,000 in contingency, Pittman said, which can be used to reimburse the county for time spent on the games.

“Funding from the grant is intended to support local public safety agencies, feed and house state public safety agencies and support the medical needs of the public safety workers and the surrounding community,” Pittman said. “The grant will not fund any direct costs to TIEC for internal security, etc.”