County Approves Grant Writing Support For Local Fire Companies

SNOW HILL– County officials agreed to spend $5,000 for grant writing services in an effort to identify funding opportunities for local volunteer fire companies.

The Worcester County Commissioners this week voted unanimously to encumber $5,000 to be used for grant writing services to assist the county’s volunteer fire and EMS companies.

“Being volunteers, our companies often lack the capacity to apply for and manage grant monies that are available out there,” Chief Administrative Officer Weston Young said. “This proposal is a pilot project to try to bridge this gap.”

Young told the commissioners this week he was asking that $5,0000 currently available in the budget for consulting services be used to provide grant writing support to volunteer companies in Worcester County. His memo to the commissioners includes a proposal from Institute for Building Technology & Safety (IBTS), which is described as a nonprofit organization that delivers a broad variety of services to help governments meet challenges while enhancing public safety, economic development and general welfare.

“IBTS has certified grant writers on staff that can support Worcester County by researching and preparing grant applications as requested,” the proposal reads. “It is understood that the county initially has priorities in the emergency management and fire safety service areas. These professional services would be provided on an as-needed, time and material basis.”

Young said the grant writing support could help the fire companies acquire state and federal grant funds.

“We’re proposing to initially allocate $5,000 for this effort,” he said. “From there we can present at future meetings what successes we may have had and request more funding if it seems to be working.”

The pilot program concept was borne out of the county’s fire funding work group meetings, as it was during those discussions county staff realized the volunteer companies lacked the capacity to pursue certain funding opportunities. Officials are hopeful that working with IBTS local companies can take better advantage of potential grants at the state and federal level.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.