Grant position gets New Milford thousands of dollars
NEW MILFORD — Just 90 days into the newly created grants position, Tammy Reardon announced the town has been awarded about $400,000 in grants.
The position of grants and compliance specialist was created this winter as a way for the town to get more revenue to offset the loss of millions in state aid for the current fiscal year and possible cuts for the upcoming year.
When Mayor Pete Bass announced creation of the position, he said he expects it to bring in at least $2 million in federal, state and private aid annually.
Last week, Reardon told Town Council she has identified more than $2.7 million in possible grant opportunities in the next 12 months, including $250,000 for healthy meal options for seniors through AARP. She’s also going to meet with staff of the Western Connecticut Council of Government to find grants for road and bridge projects.
She said the bulk of the grant opportunities are geared toward seniors, given the increased senior population in New Milford and the state as a whole.
So far, Reardon has applied for $464,000 in grants and been awarded $401,000. She expects to hear about other applications this summer.
Of that $401,000, about $351,000 is money from the state’s Local Capital Improvement Program and is expected to be deposited in the town’s account on June 11, Reardon said.
She pointed out that, while it is a non-competitive grant, it does require extensive paperwork.
“You shouldn’t be paying the finance director to do it,” she said. “He has more important work to do.”
During the previous fiscal year — the 2016-17 fiscal year — the town applied for and received nearly $1.2 million, Reardon said last Friday.
That number does not include grants received last year that the town had applied for several years prior, including $180,000 in GE Settlement funds applied for in 2007 and more than $1.9 million in state Department of Economic and Community Development funding for the Century Enterprise demolition.
Both of those programs had either lengthy review, authorization and allocation time frames, specific to each project, Reardon said.
Reardon said she has also been meeting with department heads to assess their needs so she can look for grants in their areas of responsibility. She is also making sure the town complies with the requirements of current grants.
“It’s important to maintain the compliance piece moving forward,” she said, adding it helps the town be approved for future grants.
Council members applauded her efforts so far.
“Job well done,” Councilwoman Katy Francis said.