The Mississippi Office of Homeland Security is awarding Meridian and Lauderdale County's Homeland Security office more than $253,000 in grant money. However, city officials say most of that money won't stay here.
“It is a pass through that our Homeland Security folks are going to be taking care of,” said Mark McDonald. Meridian's chief administrative officer.
“Some of it's going to be used for regional response for these 29 counties," said McDonald. "Some of it will be used for equipment and training but most of it is going to be used to be distributed in these other counties, not just for Meridian, Mississippi, and Lauderdale County.”
As previously stated, those counties include the more than 25 counties that will benefit from the funds. Meanwhile, in terms of money matters for Meridian's Homeland Security Office, officials say so far, so good.
When it comes the Homeland Security Department, city officials say the budget for last year and this year is exactly the same. However, what will change is the actual structure of the department.
McDonald says this restructuring will not only take place within the office of Homeland Security but within departments citywide.
"I have asked every department head to look at their departments and let's take a look at streamlining how we do business," said McDonald.
As for the long term financial future for Meridian's Homeland Security Office, McDonald says that's yet to be seen.
“I think with the deficit that the federal government is seeing, the state is seeing, even the municipalities, we will be very fortunate if we can maintain at an even keel for our funding posture for Homeland Security,” McDonald said.