Let’s get you up to speed on this.
A few weeks ago, the Local I-Team’s Senior Investigative Reporter Jeni Deprizio took a look at the Shelby County Commission grants program.
Each commissioner gets $150,000 taxpayer dollars to award not for profit groups for projects they feel are worth while.
What Jeni learned was, sometimes, money would be given for one thing, but spent on something entirely different.
$2500 was given to the greater life networks to build a park and a gazebo on a property.
Instead, Verlean Kelly of the Greater Life Networks told Jeni “We did a food basket. We gave away turkey and food baskets for the holidays. That’s where some of the funds went as well.”
A good project perhaps, but that’s not what commissioners voted to spend money on.
County Mayor Mark Luttrell said it was just one example. “That’s precisely why we need to do the audits,” he said, after hearing about the gazebo that magically turned into food baskets.
No audit has been done yet.
But Mayor Luttrell is indicating one will soon begin on the grants project.
Commissioners don’t like anybody fooling around with a program that they can brag about in their districts, but Chairman Heidi Shafer says, bring it on.. “You want to make sure as much as possible that we know where the taxpayer dollars are going,” Shafer said,”… that they’re being used for something, that their use is a good use in that district.”