Two grants for Bradley County designed to support the mission of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office to save lives and reduce injuries on Tennessee roadways were announced Friday by area legislators.
State Sen. Mike Bell along with state Reps. Kevin Brooks and Eric Watson said in a joint news release the grants awarded to the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and Charleston Police Department were for High Visibility Enforcement Campaigns in the amounts of $5,000 and $4,992, respectfully.
The two grants follow the recent unveiling of the fiscal summary of state budget appropriations to Bradley County for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Bradley County will receive $155.3 million in state-appropriated expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Brooks stated, “Bradley County is at the forefront of economic growth in Tennessee and it is encouraging to see these funds allocated in a way that matches our county’s priorities.”
Among the highlights of the fiscal report, prepared by the Office of Legislative Budget Analysis: $66.8 million for K-12 Education; $51.2 million for Health and Social Services; $7.1 million for Law Enforcement, Safety, and Corrections; $3.1 million for Recreation, Tourism, and Preservation; $11.5 million for Economic Development and Higher Education; and $2.8 million for Transportation projects.
“We have obviously made education reform and student achievement a priority for the state of Tennessee over the last two years,” Watson said. “With it receiving a significant portion of the appropriations for Bradley County, we are ensuring our children and educators receive the support they need to strive for better results in the classroom. I am very pleased with this budget analysis and the condition of Bradley County’s fiscal report.”
Over the last two years, the General Assembly has found areas of waste and cut them from the overall state budget, letting taxpayers realize savings of a billion dollars last year and around $600 million this year.
“We must continue to find areas where taxpayer dollars can be saved,” Brooks said. “I have no doubt you are going to continue seeing leaders from Bradley County ensure that is the case.”
The two High Visibility transportation grants are part of $18.1 million allocated to support highway safety through the offices of Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides the funding for the GHSO grants.
Brooks said, “These grants will play an integral part in helping our law enforcement officials maintain the safety of Bradley County roads. It’s good to see our law enforcement leaders are doing all they can to keep us safe.”
According to a statement issued by the governor’s office, multiple elements contribute to a safe roadway system. Some of those aspects are an accurate traffic safety data collection and analysis system; well-trained and well-equipped law enforcement personnel; and effective emergency medical and trauma systems. A major part of roadway safety is educating motorists about laws and good driving behaviors.
“Education and awareness are significant ways to reduce fatalities on our roadways,” Watson said. “A large portion of these funds will be devoted to just that and we need to continue to encourage that type of information-sharing here in Bradley County.”
The 398 grants for the 2012-13 funding cycle are awarded to agencies that successfully applied for funding based on a defined problem and statistical need. Each year, the GHSO accepts applications from agencies across the state for available highway safety funds. Applications are reviewed and scored by the GHSO and external highway safety advocates.