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Sheriff's Dept. receives grant

By By Robert Blankenship
Special to The Advance
The Escambia County Sheriff's Office was presented with a grant for the Click-It or Ticket program during a meeting of the Escambia County Commission on Monday.
Dr. Jack Chancery of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was on hand at the meeting to present the award which will be used by the sheriff's office to curtail seatbelt violations.
The county law enforcement agency recieved $3,000 for the purchase of highway safety equipment. It marks the second year that Escambia County has received this grant which is based on performance during the Click-It or Ticket campaign.
Chancery said Escambia County has come a long way in educating the public on the importance of utilizing seat belts.
"We are very proud of Escambia County," he said. "This county is always in the forefront. The Click-It or Ticket has been a major campaign here and it has been successful. But, Escambia County still is not buckling up to the national average."
Chancery also said that studies have been conducted recently within the county to determine the number of motorists who are buckling up.
"If you have been driving without buckling up, you may be a number," he said.
Chancery gave credit to Smith and ECSO Major Mike Murphy for their work in supporting the Click-It or Ticket program.
Also at the meeting, the commission agreed to resubmit for an Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) which would be used to tie in sewer lines to the residents of the Northside Subdivsion.
The commission agreed by a unanimous vote to apply for the grant and several expressed their hopes that this time the grant will be funded.
"The residents there long for this to be a reality," Commissioner David Stokes said. "It is very needed and is a worthwhile project."
Commissioner Todd Williamson said he thinks this project is very important.
"It has been an on-going battle and there is no doubt that it is a worthwhile project," Williamson said. "It is hard to imagine why we have not received the funding."
Other items discussed by the commission included:
Among Dykes's concerns was a fence that was built along Yellow Creek Road, a dirt road in Bethel. He felt the fence was built too close to the road and was a hazard for vehicles and moving farming equipment. He wanted to know if the county owned the right-of-way.
County Engineer John Downing said the county possesses a prescriptive right-of-way on most dirt roads. That means the county does not own the property off of the roads, but is rather the property of individual landowners.
"There is really nothing we can do about it," he said.
Dykes also addressed the council about a missing stop sign and long limbs and grass that were obstructing the view for motorists.
Commission Chairman Larry White and Downing said they would replace the stop sign and try to get a bushhog in that area;
Sheriff Smith said the legislation should not affect family or church gatherings.
Among the services the group provides is a drug rehabilitation program;