City of Covington to hire grant writer

COVINGTON - The city of Covington will hire a professional grant writer in the coming weeks, in lieu of hiring an assistant city manager.

The suggestion was made by City Manager Steve Horton, who said he saw a better opportunity for use of public money.

"Though a lot of times I do feel like I'm stretched to the limit, I have a hard time hiring an assistant when the economy is so tight," Horton said. "I'd rather spend money on somebody who could find money."

The council had already approved the hiring of an assistant for Horton at a cost of approximately $83,000 per year. The new position will pay less, likely in the mid-$40,000 to $50,000 range, Human Resources Director Ronnie Cowan said.

Horton said he had administrative power to move ahead with the hiring, but got a consensus from the council first.

"With the flatness of the economy, it's more and more incumbent on us to try and find monies, whether its grant monies or loans or whatever it is, to stretch the taxpayer or ratepayer dollar," he said.

The position will likely entail researching grant opportunities for various departments and projects throughout the city, filling out and following up on grant applications, completing financial paperwork and keeping track of special projects.

The Human Resources Department will soon begin researching similar positions in other cities to get a comparable job description and conducting a market survey to determine salary and benefits, Cowan said. The position will be advertised in the next four to six weeks.

Horton said he hopes to have the job filled by late October.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.