10/16/13 A recent audit by the State Board of Accounts has led Marshall County to enact an ordinance that will require county office holders to obtain prior approval from the County Council and Commissioners when applying for a state or federal grant.
The auditor told the county that all grant money awarded must be tracked through to its spending. While the county tracks the grants it knows about, County Auditor Penny Lukenbill said many times they have received money without understanding it was grant money.
The new approval and administration police ordinance requires all departments to complete a request form in advance of submitting a grant application. The form will allow the commissioner and council members to understand the benefits of the grant, the time frame, if matching funds are necessary and it there are any special requirements. It also requires any position that is funded by grant money to be part of the county’s salary ordinance before the position is filled.
If the grant application is awarded the document and checklist sheet will be sent to the Auditor’s office for review. Before the final contract is signed the County Attorney, Auditor, Commissioners and Council shall review the grant requirements and evaluate the county’s liability prior to execution.
The County Commissioners approved the ordinance at their meeting last week and the Council unanimously approved the Grant Approval and Administration Policy ordinance on all three reading.