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Washington County to get $117,927 for security

May 15, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County and its municipalities will receive nearly $118,000 in federal Homeland Security money to purchase emergency response equipment, County Director of Emergency Services Joe Kroboth said Wednesday.

The money is part of $10.5 million given to the state from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a written statement from U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md.

Kroboth said the county will distribute its $117,927 share to county, city and municipal police and fire departments along with other agencies, such as the Washington County Health Department and the Division of Public Works.

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He said the agencies will receive the money in three to six months.

The money will be used to buy protective equipment and clothing used for chemical, nuclear and other biohazardous emergencies, he said.

U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md. said in a written statement that the state share was a "drop in the bucket" compared to the needs of the local communities.

Kroboth said the contribution this year is helpful, but "obviously, the needs are much, much higher. We try to distribute the money the best we can amongst all the agencies."

Kroboth said the demand for the protective equipment and clothing is high, because public safety agencies across the country are in need of the same items.

"Much of this equipment is on back order," he said.

The federal funding is part of the fiscal year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that Congress passed in February. The money was awarded to each state based on a formula that took into account risk, population and the number of federal facilities and chemical plants in the state.

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