HUNTSVILLE — Scott County Commission has formally authorized County Mayor Dale Perdue to seek Community Development Block Grant funding to purchase ambulances for the Scott County Ambulance Service's aging fleet.

Commissioners voted unanimously at last week's monthly meeting to authorize application for $350,000 in CDBG funding for the ambulance purchases.

In so doing, commissioners also voted to return $500,000 in unused grant money that had been earmarked for improvements to the mid-county wastewater treatment plant.

That move was not unexpected, and was necessary to accommodate the county's application for 2017 CDBG funds. The grant was originally received by Scott County, and later transferred to the Town of Huntsville after the town assumed ownership of the county's sewer system, including the treatment plant. A series of delays had resulted in the improvement project at the sewer plant going unfinished. The town did not oppose the county's decision to return the funds.

This year's CDBG application will be handled by the East Tennessee Development District on Scott County's behalf.

Already, EMS has purchased a used ambulance from Colorado. Ambulance service director Jim Reed told commissioners he drove the ambulance back to Tennessee, and that he hopes to have it operational by early next month.

The grant issues comprised the gist of the matters considered by County Commission during a relatively short session.