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Yakima County Briefs

1-Column

LEAD task force funding renewed

Funding for a regional narcotics task force headquartered in Sunnyside continues after Yakima County commissioners inked a renewed agreement yesterday.

Called the LEAD Task Force (Law Enforcement Against Drugs), the joint effort of city, county, state and federal law enforcement officers is funded through a grant program administered by the state of Washington.

Daniel Garcia, undersheriff for the Yakima County Sheriff's office, said task force participants include law enforcement representatives from Sunnyside, Granger, Grandview, Selah, Wapato, the Yakama Nation, the county Sheriff, state patrol and the U.S. Department of Justice.

The grant amount received this year from the state department of Community, Trade and Economic Development tops $283,000, with just under $235,000 designated for task force enforcement and just over $48,000 set aside for prosecution.

Garcia said typical costs associated with the program include renting and outfitting an office in Sunnyside, maintaining equipment and a computer network, training, travel and overtime when officers perform work associated with the task force.

Money is also set aside for what Garcia called "buy money" used for setting up sting operations in bringing down drug dealers or manufacturers.

The contract approved by county commissioners yesterday lists the Sheriff's office as the regional representative for the task force. Garcia said the Sheriff's office receives the funds, then disperses them to the task force as needed.

County approves bonds for dairy

After tabling discussion on Aug. 1, Yakima County commissioners yesterday proceeded with approval of $2.5 million in low interest, tax-exempt bonds for the George DeRuyter and Sons Dairy in Outlook.

The bonds are the last piece of financing for the dairy's $4 million project to convert cattle manure into a renewable energy source. The Outlook dairy had previously been approved for federal grants and loans toward the conversion, which requires equipment known as an anaerobic digester.

The dairy hopes to have construction completed and producing power for up to 200 homes by this October.

County looks to sell land parcels

The potential sale of 24 parcels of land throughout Yakima County will be the topic of a public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

Yakima County commissioners agreed to set the hearing to gain public comment on whether the parcels should be sold as surplus property.

The parcels, some in the Lower Valley, range in size from a piece of land less than one-tenths of an acre near Outlook to others with up to 40 acres.

The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 29 in the commissioners' hearing room in the basement of the courthouse.

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