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Covington to hire grant writer
Position will oversee NSP program
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Covington will be adding a new employee, as the city council approved adding a grant writer/finance position to this year’s budget.

The position’s long-term future will be focused on seeking out, writing and administering grants, but in the short-term the employee will focus on administering the money associated with the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Covington received $428,000 as part of the NSP, a federal program that provides money to local governments to purchase, rehabilitation and resell foreclosed properties. Covington is planning to work in multiple neighborhoods, which could include Jefferson  Village, Green Acres and Nelson Heights and was purchasing a property in the Sterling Lake neighborhood, off Flat Shoals Road, as of late July.

The NSP has specific requirements that must be followed, and as with many grants requires a large amount of paperwork. When homes are resold to residents, the money given to the city is reinvested into the NSP, so it’s also possible the program could continue on into the future.

City Manager Steve Horton said city officials don’t expect the NSP to continue far past the original $428,000, but that’s where the grant-writing duties would start up.

Mayor Kim Carter said there is a wealth of grant money out there, especially with the federal stimulus package, but the city has not been proactive in going after grants in the past. She said even if the position brings in one grant that will be enough to pay for the employee’s salary.

A job description and salary will be determined by Personnel Director Ronnie Cowan, but previous discussions put the salary around $50,000, Horton said.

The council approved the position unanimously 5-0, with Councilman Keith Dalton absent.