On September 18, Dutchess County announced Municipal Innovation Grants including $108,000 to assist Tivoli’s water system transfer to the Dutchess County Waste Water Authority and $50,000 for bathroom accessibility improvements at the Red Hook Recreational Park.
“I was pleased to support and cosponsor the resolution to fund these grants,” said Dutchess County Legislator Kristofer Munn (D-Red Hook). “Given the lower share of sales tax revenue that the county has been sending our towns and villages, it is vital we continue to advocate for these important funds.”
In addition to the $158,000 for local municipalities, the grants include $256,850 for crisis intervention training that will provide officers with the tools necessary to identify, intervene, de-escalate and divert individuals from inpatient hospitalization and the criminal justice system to community organizations that can address their needs. Research suggests an estimated savings of $100,000 annually.
Also included is $825,090 for the Dutchess County Drug Task Force. This funding will provide the team with a consistent task force, alleviating the financial burden from the four departments who provide an officer currently, allowing the task force the ability to enhance operations, increase investigations and arrests, and increase property seizures. The task force saves an estimated $3.5 million in other costs, annually.
“With the ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction, it is important to provide consistent funding for both treatment and diversion and law enforcement,” said Munn. “I hope we can further expand our treatment funding during the upcoming budget process.”
UPDATED: For those concerned about the abuse of property seizures reported in some jurisdictions, be aware that I (or another legislator) always confirm that any seized property being spent is not from pre-conviction defendants. All spending must come before the legislature – neither the sheriff nor the DA can spend proceeds from seized property without our approval. -KM