Polk to give leftover grant money to NCDOT

Published 11:05 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019

County to pay state $134K from WEG funding 

COLUMBUS—Polk County agreed this week to give leftover grant money from the state for the World Equestrian Games to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.  

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and unanimously approving granting the leftover funding to the NCDOT.  

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The state of North Carolina granted Polk County $1 million last year for extra funding to protect the county during the WEG, which was held in September at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring. The county spent the money mostly on extra expenses and personnel, both within the county and for outside county agencies, including fire protection, emergency services and law enforcement.  

Polk County Emergency Management Director and Fire Marshal Bobby Arledge said after the county spent $865,508 of the $1 million grant.  

That left $134,492 from the grant.  

Arledge said he is asking for the leftover funding to go to the NCDOT.  

“They spent a whole day with the endurance race,” Arledge said.  

Commissioner Chair Tommy Melton said he’s spoken to county manager Marche Pittman and he is in full support that the leftover funding go to the NCDOT.  

Commissioner Ray Gasperson asked about the money for administrative and planning services.  

Pittman said that funding went back to the county for county employees’ salaries. The money did not go directly to the employees.  

Polk County created a budget for the grant prior to the games, with no department spending the total budget for their services.  

The county paid $225,000 to Medical “Atrium & Med 1” for emergency services. The county reimbursed itself $195,340 for planning team house over 18 months, including for hours spent by Pittman, Arledge and county employees Michael Crater, James McGuinn, Marty McGuinn, Josh Kennedy, Lowell Griffin and Ange High.  

Another $29,690 was reimbursed to the county for employee time at the actual two-week event and another $25,000 was reimbursed for grant administration.  

The other funding was paid to local fire departments, police departments, Polk County EMS, the Polk County Rescue Squad and Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Other funding was provided to the Rutherford Polk McDowell Health District for their services, as well as meals and lodging for emergency personnel.