Law enforcement agencies receive port security money
By JAMES A. ROBICHAUX
Local law enforcement agencies involved in port security are to receive more than $500,000 in federal grants.
The Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District Commission was updated on the release of money from a 2009 U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant by consulting grant writer Mike Knobloch.
The local agencies must match a third of the federal grant money.
“The grant has already been written and submitted, and we were awarded a little over $560,663,” Knobloch said.
The grant included:
—St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office, $194,437.50 for purchase of a boat, diving equipment, some night-vision goggles, and a mobile command center.
—Morgan City Police Department, $22,500 for purchasing the night vision goggles and thermal cameras.
—Morgan City Fire Department, $22,500 for thermal cameras and night vision goggles.
—Berwick Police Department, $19,500 for night vision goggles and thermal cameras.
The remainder of the money will be spent and used by the port for similar purposes.
“With that money, the port of Morgan City serves as the fiduciary agent, so we receive some of the money for own projects,” Knobloch said.
“It’s a reimbursable grant,” he said, adding that now that the funds have been released from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the departments can seek vendors and might begin to receive some of the hand-held equipment as early as three months.
In late July, FEMA approved the environmental and historical preservation certifications, which allowed the release of funding from the grant that was approved in 2009.
“We had to follow some different steps before the money would be released,” Knobloch said. “We had to give them some more information on the budget.”
“With that money, the port of Morgan City serves as the fiduciary agent. So, we receive some of the money for our own projects,” Knobloch said.
In other business, Sarah Nash of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported that soil borings for Crewboat Cut had been completed and that dredges are moving up the bar channel.