Additional municipal employee requested to administer federal assistance

Jefferson City expects more than $ 18 million in federal funding over the next five years, but staff have said they need help managing it.

Between the 2019 tornado and COVID-19, in addition to applying for more grants, the city is receiving more federal funding than in the past, and Rachel Senzee, neighborhood services supervisor, said she needed a additional staff member.

The Neighborhood Services division has three employees who apply for grants and help administer them in the city.

“I tell people we do everything in the neighborhood unless it requires an engineer, then we have to go to public works to get their help,” she said. “We are implementing neighborhood plans. We do everything from recycling waste to historic preservation. We also manage the Community Development Block Grant. We also offer incentives for the economic development of the city that will benefit neighborhoods. “

Most of the expected additional funds will be sub-awarded through the city to different organizations and individuals. These applications require manpower to process and supervise. They will meet a variety of needs including child care, housing, and restoration of historic properties and infrastructure, among others.

The department typically processes between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000 per year, Senzee said.

In 2020, the ministry processed $ 370,000. In 2021, that climbed to $ 3.8 million.

She said 2022 is shaping up to be around $ 10.2 million.

Most grants will last for two to five years, meaning some of the 2021 money will be rolled over. With that rollover, Senzee said, 2022 will likely be closer to $ 13.8 million.

“That number is going to continue to roll as we move into ’23 and ’24 and so on as more of these federal opportunities become available,” she said. “We also still have to deal with things we are already committed to. “

Senzee said she was receiving questions about what it would look like when funding related to COVID-19 ceases.

“In fact, we are expanding our division and are able to bring in more funds,” she said.

For each grant requested and received by the division, the city may retain a certain amount for administrative costs.

This is normally around 20 percent of the grant amount, but some are lower.

For example, a grant of $ 300,000 with 20 percent allowed for administrative costs means that the city can keep up to $ 60,000 for running the program.

The city recently received $ 675,000 under the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant program, which will be sub-awarded to landowners for historic preservation projects in the city center and historic districts of Old Munichburg. Of this amount, 5%, or $ 33,750, can be used for administrative costs.

Senzee said she is asking for an additional Outreach Specialist I, who earns about $ 53,500, or Specialist II who earns about $ 71,000 per year, including benefits.

“For this additional staff member, depending on the amount of their income, if their family is to be covered by their insurance with the operation of the fringe, we estimate between $ 50,000 and $ 70,000 per year,” Senzee said. “Federal funds could cover this person for two and a half to three years. “

For 2022, there is approximately $ 389,690 available through grant administration fees and the current staff is $ 202,758, which leaves $ 186,932 available, according to his proposal.

With an additional person, Senzee said the department “will have more people who can interact with the public. We will have more people who can manage these programs.

The request was approved by the administration committee on Wednesday, but has yet to go through city council.

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About Christopher Easley

Christopher Easley

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