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New grant writer job approved

COVINGTON - The city council approved the hiring of a grant writer Monday night.

The position will entail finding, securing and administering grants for the city, according to City Manager Steve Horton.

The job will also include financial administration of the city's Neighborhood Stabilization Program, for which it received more than $400,000 from the federal government to purchase, rehabilitate and resell foreclosed properties.

Another duty will be to learn the city's utility billing system and act as a backup in case employees who normally handle billing are out sick or on vacation.

The position has been in the budget for the past two years, according to Horton. The salary will be about $50,000, not including benefits, he said.

A job description will be formulated over the next few weeks, and the position could be filled by the end of the year, he said.

"Part of the issue is having someone who is knowledgeable ... Having someone who is part of the finance operations doing this takes time-consuming work out of the picture," Horton said. "It expedites things. If we use outside sources, sometimes things may not get sent to the right person or the right account numbers may not be on there. Sometimes you only get one chance to mess up."

Horton said the city will continue to rely on other resources, such as The Center and the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, for assistance with grants that require specific expertise.