After many, many month of trying to find a new town treasurer, the Waitsfield Select Board has approved a plan to make the position full time and add grant administration to the job duties.
Making the position full time, based on feedback from potential candidates and community members is considered to be one of the hurdles in filling the job, according to town administrator Annie Decker-Dell’Isola and select board chair Christine Sullivan who presented the proposal to the town’s ARPA Advisory Committee and the select board.
The position has been budgeted for 25.5 hours a week at $27.58 an hour. The proposal is to take the position to 40 hours a week at $30 an hour. Taking the position to full time would include a host of new grant administration tasks which the town anticipates will be associated with allocation and tracking of the town’s ARPA funding.
Some of those tasks include developing and maintaining a comprehensive list of available grant opportunities to support town operations and known capital needs, preparing grant applications and monitoring status once submitted, assisting in preparation of specs and contract documents for grant funded projects, assisting in procurement for grants that have been awarded, managing the project for active grants as well as managing project records, documentation and correspondents, among others.
The treasurer/grant administrator will also become the town’s contact person for all grants correspondence and will oversee the close out of grant projects.
In proposing the change, Sullivan and Dell’Isola outlined how ARPA funds would be used to cover increasing the budget for the town treasurer from 25.5 hours to 40 and increasing the hourly wage. As proposed, ARPA funds would cover 41.39% of the cost of the amended position in fiscal year 2023, then 25% of the cost in FY 24, 15% of the cost in FY25 and 5% of the cost in FY26. That would keep the town’s budgeted share of the costs in line with the current and anticipated future budget.
In pitching the idea, which the select board approved at its September 26 meeting, Dell’Isola and Sullivan pointed out that having a grant administrator on staff would open doors for the town to explore opportunities that it currently does not have the capacity to pursue, especially given the amount of state and federal funding that is currently available for a variety of projects.