Saying no to money is sometimes OK

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

Normally, we don&8217;t applaud when someone in local government turns down an opportunity to get &8220;free&8221; money. But we&8217;ll make an exception today.

Our society &8212; and especially government &8212; has become addicted to &8220;free&8221; money in the form of grants and other state and federal programs.

Grants are so commonplace that passing up an opportunity for more just doesn&8217;t make sense. More is always better, correct?

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Such grant money is almost always tied to a particular project or a particular kind of need in the community.

Sometimes, leaders get so caught up in grabbing more dollars that they don&8217;t pause to consider whether the funds are actually needed or not.

Monday, the Adams County Board of Supervisors made us smile when it used discretion and opted to pare down the scope of a grant project.

Part of the original grant request would have included funds for equipment to ventilate exhaust fumes from the county&8217;s rural volunteer firehouses. The fumes gather inside the firehouses if the trucks are run indoors.

One of the supervisors, Henry Watts, logically asked why the fire trucks couldn&8217;t be run mostly outdoors &8212; logical enough, if outside the norm.

State and federal grants certainly have a place in our community. Without their use, Natchez wouldn&8217;t be where it is today. But going to that well only when prudent will help ensure that it never dries up.