CARTHAGE, MO.--- More than one dozen area police departments count on funding from the Jasper County Law Enforcement Sales Tax Grant Board.
"We get roughly between 160 and 170 thousand a year and we allocate it to what the different departments need," states Jim Woestman, LEST Board Chairman.
The grants help buy everything from cars to computers, using a percentage of tax money that's given to the sheriff's office.
"We're not interested in keeping the money, we want the money to go out to be spent because this is the tax payers money," states Woestman.
In order for this money to be distributed, police departments must follow LEST procedures. In a special meeting earlier this week the board reiterated these guidelines.
"We had to make it clear that that money is to buy those items that they requested. If they have an excess of money and they want to spend it on something else, they have to come back to the board and get permission to do that," states Woestman.
The reminder comes after a mix up with funding used by the Webb City Police Department. They applied for a grant to buy computers, but brought an additional 2 printers and related items when the computers came in at a lower price than expected. Board members say they are understanding if plans change and encourage open communication.
"We gave a PD a new car and they requested they would rather have two used ones and one new car and we said no problem, we can work that out but we are flexible and we can adjust," states Woestman.
LEST members say since the board is relatively new, it's important to establish guidelines to avoid confusion later.
"This board was just established a year ago so this is really just a matter of us maturing a little bit and to clarify to the departments what the mission is," states Woestman.
This is a good time for the LEST to remind departments of their policies, as grant applications for 2013 are due on February 1st.