Don’t you love it when you find out that your tax dollars are actually being put to good use? I felt great when I heard that the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC)—a federal- and state-designated agency that is responsible for managing and administrating the homeland security program in Montcalm County and 12 other counties—recently purchased 13 snow cone machines at a cost of $11,700 and transferred them to the counties. There is nothing like an Arctic Blast Sno-Cone machine to stop a terrorist in Michigan dead in his tracks—or to foil a terrorist plot in that state, doncha know?
Still, some officials in Michigan are being asked to explain the purchase of the machines, which were funded by a grant from the Michigan Homeland Security Program. Only one county requested a machine—but all 13 counties received them. It’s good to know that DHS was thinking of the safety of all the counties and not just the one that had the wisdom to request an ice-shaving machine.
Well, members of the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners wondered why the county needed a snow cone machine. They wanted to know the justification for its purchase. According to an article in The Daily News, “The Michigan Homeland Security Grant Program’s Allowable Cost Justification document, dated May 9, 2011, says the snow cone machines can make ice to prevent heat-related illnesses during emergencies, treat injuries and provide snow cones as an outreach at promotional events.”
So you see—the request was not a frivolous one. Not like the request one county had made for a popcorn machine—which was denied.
WMSRDC Executive Director Sandeep Dey said “the snow cone machine request would not have been granted by itself, but was approved because it came with other homeland security equipment.” He added, “It is used to attract people so they can be educated and prepared for homeland security. More importantly, they (homeland security officials) felt in a medical emergency the machine was capable of making ice packs which could be used for medical purposes.”
There you have it—your tax dollars at work protecting the citizens of Michigan with snow cone machines. What a totally cool idea!
Montcalm County gets homeland security snow cone machine (The Daily News)