County using DATE funds

After a few years of rolling over drug abuse treatment funds, Putnam County officials were able to collect enough money to use the special revenues to purchase one or more vehicles in 2015.

According to budget reports from the past few years, nearly $76,000 allotted by the state of Georgia specifically for Drug Abuse Treatment and Education (DATE) was spent on vehicles, while $38,000 was used to buy small equipment. 

Nearly $15,000 was spent on ground services and another $7,000 on program supplies.

Out of the $130,000 collected from those drug and alcohol related fines, $7,000 was spent on education that year. 

A year later, another $35,900 was budgeted for small equipment.

The interest rates for those years totaled $2,352, enough money to buy nearly 50 signs similar to the one purchased with DATE funds and placed at the Uncle Remus Golf Course reading “Weed Free Golf Course.”

After a recently adopted budget showed the DATE funds were also being used to pay for a wellness center project for county staff use only, it sparked a renewed concern from citizens. 

More than $14,000 was approved in the 2018 budget for the wellness center, also described as a weight lifting room, and another $15,000 was allotted for building and ground supplies.

Out of $39,075 to be collected, the least amount of money, at $10,000 was put toward funds for a DUI Court Coordinator.  

In a recent email, when asked why the facility was being funded with DATE funds, County Manager Paul Van Haute said, “The education component of the law is not defined and opened to interpretation.”


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