The Altus Southwest Area Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors met in regular monthly session Thursday.
The SEDC is focused on promoting the economic growth of Altus, Jackson County, and Southwest Oklahoma with employment opportunities and assistance and support for new and existing businesses.
In this meeting, the board discussed local projects and needs associated with the Altus Police Department and Parks and Recreation Department.
Keith Weber of the Civicus Group of Oklahoma City works with the board to find grant opportunities for local development.
“We’re currently working on a JAG [Justice Assistance Grant] grant for the police department,” Weber said. “It is only $10,000, but at this point, Deputy Chief Scott and I had a conversation this morning, and it looks like we’re going to use it for ballistic helmets.”
Ballistic helmets are used by police officers in the event of an active shooter event, riot control situations, and any other situation that puts officers at risk of exposure to high-velocity rounds to provide better protection during high-intensity incidents.
Though Weber could not say for sure when grant deadlines for sidewalks would be, he reassured Jason Winters that he had talked with the Parks and Recreation Department about funding for sidewalks a couple of months prior to the meeting on Thursday.
“We’ll likely have a better idea what the federal funding calendar will look like,” Weber said. “The Trump Administration is still changing dates, but so far they haven’t changed significant funding categories.”
Weber said that he hopes to have a short list of grants available for the Parks and Recreation Department in September for their benefit.
Winters also voiced his concern about the prevalence of grants specifically for special needs playground equipment.
“There are a couple of federal grants but most are associated with playgrounds on school property,” Weber said. “There are several private foundations that will potentially fund pieces for regular playgrounds, and I will be looking into that.”
Weber also told the board he would be meeting with a local non-profit organization relating to grants for the local Animal Shelter.
“Hopefully we can keep everyone’s furry friends safer and in better condition over time,” Weber said.”
Reach Katrina Goforth at 580-482-1221, ext. 2077.