North Augusta City Council gave its approval Monday night for the city Department of Public Safety to seek a state grant that would pay for two officers to enforce drunken driving laws.
The grant would provide $290,000 per year to hire, train and equip two officers with everything they need except uniforms, Chief John Thomas said. The officers would be paid $47,000 a year.
The city could reapply for the grant and, if successful, fund the officers for a total of three years.
“We’ll apply every year. It’s a great opportunity for us,” Thomas said.
The chief said he would move seasoned officers into the DUI enforcement positions and hire two new public safety officers. That would ensure that everyone on the force is trained in all aspects of the department’s mission, including firefighting.
Besides uniforms, there would be no cost to the city because the grant does not require matching funds.
The department has prepared the paperwork to apply and could receive the grant by July, Thomas said. The first year of the grant would be Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019.
The vote was 6-0, with Councilwoman Pat Carpenter absent.
In other action, council gave final approval to the rezoning of a parcel at Exit 1 for construction of an apartment complex.
Ken McDowell voiced his concerns about the number of complexes already in the city and opposed the measure. It passed 5-1.