The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have decided to do with the local option sales tax funds what many successful leaders have done -- delegate. A committee of nine county citizens will sift through the applications for funding from the county's share of the local option sales tax (LOST) funds.
The county's local option sales tax ballot in 2001 said that money could be used for "community betterment" or county infrastructure with zero percent for property tax relief. The Plymouth County Law Enforcement Center is also being partially funded by the county through LOST.
Grant applicants complete a one-page form and are asked to add a project description of up to two pages. The description is to address how their project serves rural areas and cities, what money would be used for, other funding sources where applied and how much, how people would benefit from the project and how the county would benefit. Last year there were more than 60 applications. Supervisors chose the awards without having an advisory board.
Delegating decisions on recommendations for grant awards is a smart move for the supervisors, for many reasons. Getting more voices involved can only make the process better.
The nine-member board will review the grant applications and recommend to supervisors which should be funded. Grant applications are due April 29. They were first made available Feb. 1. Recommendations to the supervisors are expected by June 14 from the new advisory board.
The board can, of course, choose to either accept or reject the recommendations of the advisory board. They have and always will have the final say. They are the ones that will be held accountable for their actions.
The creation of this committee is another positive sign that the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are taking a proactive, connected approach to governing. We are pleased to see this continuing evolution.