COVINGTON, Ga. — Lately, grants and grant writing has been a mainstay conversational piece in Newton County government affairs — primarily because, until last week, the county had no employed or otherwise contracted grant writer.
That changed last Tuesday when the county Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to take on iParametrics LLC out of Alpharetta, Georgia for grant services and consulting.
Up to that point, grant writing was done as a team effort through members of the BOC with approvals to write grant applications coming from chairman Marcello Banes. That was the approach in the county’s $212.7 million ARPA grant received to be used for renovations of the county’s water and sewerage systems.
District 3 Commissioner Alana Sanders recently came under some scrutiny for writing a grant application that triggered a $4 million award from Congressman Hank Johnson to help build the Westside Youth Facility.
A job posting for a grant writer for the county had been on the county’s website for a more than a year and, according to interim county manager Jarvis Sims, the county “received very few qualified applicants for that position.”
“Our purchasing under our finances department submitted a proposal for grant services, and that proposal for grant services was out from Nov. 14 through Dec. 7.,” Sims said. “During that time, we only received one proposal.”
That came from iParametrics. Sims also clarified that both the proposal for contracted grant writing services and consultation was publicized at the same time as the job posting for a singular grant writer.
“We did actually include different language for the (individual grant writer) job posting, and we still received very few qualified applicants for the position,” Sims said. “iParametrics’ process will be interacting with each of the departments to identify potential grant opportunities, and at that point, we’d go ahead and submit for those types of grants.”
Both Sanders and District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson were the dissenters for the vote.