FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to transfer $110,692 back to the account for Operation Stonegarden, a federal grant program that reimburses law enforcement for mileage when working on border patrol.

Auditors transferred the money in 2013 to the county’s fund balance, interim county Clerk Vickie Braley said. They thought the account should have a zero balance because it’s the way most grants work, she said.

Mileage reimbursement can accumulate and be used for other needs, Lt. David Rackliffe said.

Operation Stonegarden is a cooperative effort among the U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement agencies.

Since 2014, the county started accumulating the money in the account with the knowledge that they were putting extra mileage and wear and tear on vehicles to do the special details,  Rackliffe said.

From 2014 to 2020 enough had been accumulated to buy an additional vehicle in 2020 without burdening county property taxpayers, he said.


In conjunction with this, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was approved this month to buy five hybrid cruisers using money from the American Rescue Plan Act, so three years down the road, the office will need to buy more vehicles, he said.

Cruisers are replaced on a rotation schedule. The Sheriff’s Office has 16 vehicles.

Rackliffe said his hope is that by putting $110,692 back into the Stonegarden account, there will be enough money in three years to buy three more vehicles.

In other business, commissioners approved buying two new wooden signs for the front of the courthouse and the side parking lot to replace deteriorating ones. The cost is $1,400 which will come from the courthouse reserve account.

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