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(This is follow-up information about the Fulton County Rural Development & Grant Seminar held on 10/11/11.)
State Representative Lori Benedict of Sturkie hosted a Rural Development and Grant Seminar at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Salem on October 11, 2011. The purpose sounded benign: a spaghetti dinner was provided to attendees; the county judge and sheriff were on board to answer questions about an upcoming election initiative concerning a new jail; and proposed help for the local fire departments was to be discussed.
But the majority of the meeting was dedicated to a group of presenters who, without coming right out and saying so, made it quite clear that attempts to institute policies of Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 are alive and well in the rural communities – even in small remote areas of northern Arkansas. The presenters (or facilitators) were more reminiscent of a group of traveling snake oil salesmen at a local carnival selling their wares to gullible customers. The agenda included the Arkansas Department of Rural Services, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, Arkansas Association of Resource Conservation and Development, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Arkansas Dept. of Emergency Services – Federal Surplus, White River Planning and Development District, Parks and Tourism, and the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) – Rural Development.
What a line up and what a list of opportunities they provided to the local government officials and the public! A small sample of the available grants from the above agencies included funds for new fire stations, fire trucks, fire fighting equipment, extrication equipment, hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, police and fire stations, 911 communications centers, detention facilities, adult and child care centers, community centers, city halls, charter schools, libraries, museums, food banks, farmer’s markets, animal shelters, airports, streets, bridges, baseball fields, walking tracks, park and playground equipment, picnic tables, library shelving , community fishing ponds, firing ranges, fishing access piers, archery ranges, fish cleaning stations, boat launches, hunting blinds, funds to improve county fairs, rodeos or riding arenas, and community waste and sanitation facilities. AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. This was truly a celebration of Funding Resources in the form of grants and loans for every possible community need.
And how is this related to Sustainable Development and Agenda 21? Agenda 21 policies are primarily implemented through a network of agencies that provide golden carrots in the form of federal and state grants. The grants are dangled in front of unsuspecting bureaucrats and elected politicians who, in their excitement to grab the gold ring, have forgotten to uphold the personal property rights of their constituents as their oaths of office dictate. After the presentations of the state and federal agencies, Mr. Van Thomas, Director of White River Planning and Development, stated, “Our whole goal in life is to help you folks get their (the agencies’) money.” White River Planning and Development’s stated mission according to their web site is to assist local government through strategic planning for sustainable economic and community development. A great example of Agenda 21 / Sustainable Development networking.
The USDA was on hand at the Fulton County Meeting to talk about Community Facility Grants and the Guaranteed Community Facility Loan Program. Fulton County Judge Charles Willett is hoping the public will approve the appropriation of a portion of an existing 1% sales tax to help pay for a USDA loan to construct a new jail. Of course, Mr. Justin Ladd of the USDA was there to push that agenda. This would be a huge investment for Fulton County to the tune of $2.1 million with loan payments for the USDA loan for the next 40 years. At the last Fulton County Quorum Court meeting, the court discussed the fact there was a shortfall in the county general fund in the amount of $100,000 and that layoffs of county employees and reduction of county services and supplies were even possible. When asked how the loan payments would be made should the economy lead to shortfalls of this kind in the future, the judge (after several questions on the issue) said he didn’t know and even said he could not answer the question. Voting for such an initiative only makes the county beholden to the USDA and federal government even more.
Federal Grant programs are one of the primary means of bringing local governments into the Sustainable Development / Sustainable Communities program. Do State Agencies ever receive any funding from the Federal Government? You bet they do! In a Supreme Court ruling in 1942 in Wickard vs. Filbern, the court’s prevailing opinion was that the Federal Government may regulate that which it funds.
See case of Wickard vs. Filbern here
We at Secure Arkansas stand for LESS government
and MORE liberty!