Pennington County estimates that it incurred $500,000 in costs from the October blizzard, and last week the Pennington County Commission took the first step toward recovering some of those costs by applying for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But first, the commissioners debated whether to apply for the entire amount in the request.
Commissioner Don Holloway said the county shouldn’t apply for reimbursement in the amount of $24,000 of the $69,000 request because it’s part of county’s budget for snow and debris removal.
“Just because the federal government wants to throw away money like that I don’t think we should participate in it,” Holloway said.
He was joined in voting against including the $24,000 in the county’s FEMA request by Commissioner Ron Buskerud, who at least said that not asking for the $24,000 was a noble but futile stand against government spending.
In one sense, we agree with Holloway and Buskerud that the federal government wastes money – an enormous amount of money.
But one county commission not asking for $24,000 from FEMA represents a drop of water in an ocean of wasteful spending.
What’s the point of the Pennington County Commission complaining about wasteful federal spending? If the county doesn’t ask for the $24,000, FEMA will spend it someplace else. When it comes to concepts like “fiscal responsibility,” Washington, D.C., might as well be a foreign country.
Holloway’s proposal was defeated 3-2 by the commission.
Not to worry, the alleged wasteful spending can be used by the county highway department, which intends to buy 90 new radios to replace the ones that failed during the blizzard. Even if some commissioners consider the money’s source to be wasteful spending, the funds can be put to a good use.