After years of anticipation, the Village of Osceola had the opportunity to review and approve an application for the 2020 COPS grant during the February 11 meeting. This grant would allow for a new full-time officer to be 75% federally funded for three years to fill the increasing need for additional law enforcement in Osceola.

According to the board’s analysis of the grant application, “The Village is in a prime position both financially and statistically to apply for this grant cycle…The 2020 COPS grant works on a four-year commitment program where the first three years of the award are 75% federally funded and 25% local…The fourth year of the program and beyond will be 100% Village responsibility.” 

According to Village administrator Benjamin Krumenauer, this grant is intended to create a permanent addition to the Osceola police force and will not prove detrimental to the village financially. 

“Because of how our system is set up with part time officers filling full time rotations, there is very little fiscal impact for us to apply for this grant,” said Krumenauer. “In point of fact, because we spend over $55,000 a year on part-time officers filling in full-time, this grant is actually going to save us quite a bit of money over the three years.”

The board approximated that hiring a new full-time officers would cost roughly $83,000 per year of which the village would have to pay only $20,750 of that total cost annually because of the funding through the COPS grant. With the current estimated $55,000 in part time funds spent toward the position annually, the village estimates a net cost savings of $34,250 per year – a total of $105,068 during three years of the COPS grant.

The board voted unanimously to approve the application of the COPS grant that will be submitted before the deadline of March 11, 2020. If the village is given this grant, they will be given the opportunity to hire on a full time officer at the Osceola Police Department and reduce the need for part-time officer coverage of full-time positions.

“While there are a lot of difference s between needs and wants when it comes to government planning…this one is tied to the safety of our community,” said Krumenauer. “To me, this is an easy win.” 

Other Business:

The villages of Osceola and Dresser have worked out a payment plan for the recent sewer billing discrepancies. The Village of Dresser will pay out the total $63,810 over three years in 12 payments of $5,317.50 to the Village of Osceola.

A special event permit was approved for the Cocoa Crawl event in Osceola. The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 29.

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