BEATRICE – The City of Beatrice is considering contracting with a Washington D.C. area firm for grant writing services. The matter was discussed by the Beatrice Mayor and City Council Monday night.

Under a proposal being considered, the three-month plan with Merchant McIntyre Associates would be at a cost of $8,000 a month. City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer said the company would seek federal grant funding for the city.

"During that first three months, essentially what it sounds like is that they would come down and talk to our department heads and find out what projects we're working on....and help us figure out what programs may be available for us. And then, put together some metrics of what they think we'll be able to go out and get...or at least be competitive for various grants. Also, start lining up meetings with congressional staff. Then, if we like what we see, they would ask for a one-year commitment...again, at $8,000 per help write grants and go after those dollars."

The company could provide services in seeking support for street funding, water, wastewater, public safety projects, parks and recreation and economic development.

Councilman Ted Fairbanks says the arrangement has the potential to cover itself.  "If you think about it, a year's're still talking about a lot of money. But, if they can get one pays for itself."

Tempelmeyer says he’s made contact with five other communities that have agreements with the company. Councilman Terry Doyle spoke in favor of hiring the firm as a grant writer, as did council members Duane Ruh and Tim Fralin. Action could be taken at a council meeting in early October.

Tempelmeyer says if the city were to hire a grant writer as an employee, it would likely cost in the range of $60,000, plus benefits. The number of grants written by the city varies, based on type of projects, the time of the year….and availability of funds from several sources.