Council Approves New Grant Fund Oversight

SALISBURY – Legislation providing the county council additional oversight when accepting grant funds was approved on second reading this week after months of discussion and debate.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to adopt a legislative bill that provides for greater transparency and accountability when allocating grant funds.

Each year, the county’s annual budget and appropriation bill contains a list of anticipated grant funding. Grant revenue that is not anticipated, however, must be approved by resolution of the county council.

From time to time throughout the budget year, unanticipated grant funding is brought before the council for approval. And while the county code outlines the procedures for accepting grant funds, the council this week had before them proposed changes that would provide the legislative body additional opportunities to review grant documentation, impose restrictions and conditions, and more.

The legislation also includes language that would authorize the council to informally discuss grant applications with executive branch personnel, an action that was barred under the former county executive’s administration.

Late last month, the adoption of the legislative bill was postponed to address concerns about some of the language. However, a motion to include text amendments related to budget appropriations and reimbursement grants passed unanimously this week.

“You may recall at the last meeting we discussed two different types of amendments to this,” council attorney Bob Taylor said.

With no further discussion, the legislative bill passed unanimously on second reading.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.