picture by: Linda Harris
Steubenville City Council is exploring the possibility of retaining grant writing specialists to help propel Steubenville forward.
Second Ward Councilman Tracy McManamon and Sixth Ward Councilman Mike Hernon say from where they sit, this isn’t the kind of opportunity the council can afford to pass up.
“The ability to hire a grants writer specifically and totally dedicated to the city of Steubenville is imperative at this time,” McManamon said. “All of my conversations with other municipalities, inside and outside of Ohio, including Washington, D.C. have encouraged me, personally, to bring this forward-thinking strategic initiative to the city. we are discussing and evaluating the best way to spend the ARPA (American Recovery Program Act) money received from the federal government, we have to think beyond that because our needs are so great There are so many projects, so many infrastructure needs and so many ways to help Steubenville grow.Having a dedicated, professional and responsible business working directly for the Town of Steubenville will hopefully show our citizens that we are doing everything we can to improve the quality of life in the town of Steubenville.
McManamon and 6th Ward Councilman Mike Hernon sifted through grant-writing specialists and located a Pennsylvania company they say comes highly recommended, with supporting portfolio.
McManamon said department heads did their best, writing grant applications whenever and as often as they could. “I think they’re all doing a great job,” he said. “I also think…they just don’t have the time to devote to grant writing.”
“It’s something that (Parks and Recreation Director Lori Fetherolf) had said, she seems to be able to get the grants of $10,000, $15,000, $25,000,” the councilor said. General Kimberly Hahn. “What she would really appreciate some help with is the really big ones, because she doesn’t know the best way to present herself for those.”
“All of our city employees are stretched so thin and all of our departments are dealing with labor shortages,” McManamon agreed. “It’s hard for us to expect them to be able to devote much more of their time to these opportunities.”
Hernon also pointed out that the city “has many needs and priorities beyond what we can afford.”
“I believe it’s vital for us to hire a professional grant writer with a strong track record to help fund our top priorities,” Hernon said. “We need a partner to help us discover new opportunities as well as develop our current funding sources. This will help us stretch our taxes to better serve our citizens and our community.
He said it would also provide a level of accountability.
“We were getting monthly reports on what they did, what they applied for,” he said. “There would be a follow-up. We would get a spreadsheet of, for example, what their work was for the month, what grants they applied for, what their deadlines are. I think it’s really essential for us to help manage.
“I like this idea,” said Willie Paul, city councilor for the 5th arrondissement. “I think it would be in our interests to do so.”
“My view is that they are looking for money that we are not even looking for,” said Royal Mayo, councilor for the 4th district. “If they get us a $50,000 grant, we’re already done. »
McManamon said the key is to ensure that “whatever grant opportunities we seek, they will include and focus on improving the quality of life for all of us.”
“Having a dedicated, professional, experienced and well-connected grant-writing organization is key to our success in this strategic endeavor,” he said. “The organization we are considering has a terrific track record and has been endorsed by Councilor Hernon. They publicly state that 95% of the time in the first nine months we will see more than our initial investment paid back. “reviewing their website, this organization brings enormous respect and influence to the world of grant writing. I am confident that our investment will pay off for the betterment of the town of Steubenville.”