Riverton council lets staff apply for grants without prior approval

The Riverton City Council approved an internal policy change this week, allowing staff to apply for grant funding before informing the council.

Council approval is still required in order to accept a grant.

But previously, the council also had to approve grant applications before they were submitted, according to a memo in this week’s agenda.

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That extra step made it difficult to pursue some grants with short application timelines, city administrator Tony Tolstedt said.

Going forward, he suggested the city should allow staff to apply for grants “as they arise.”

“It would give us more flexibility internally,” he said during a regular council meeting this week.

When possible – and when required by the grantor – staff will continue to seek council approval before sending in a grant application, Tolstedt noted.

“We’d love to do it in advance when we can,” he said. “But if we end up (with) a grant and we have three days to put it in … we want to be able to put that in.”

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Such applications would be submitted “with the understanding that we need to bring it to council (for) approval prior to acceptance and, in most cases, at the next regular meeting following any such application,” he said.

At that point, “if you don’t want us to (apply), by all means, we can just call them up and we can pull the grant,” Tolstedt said.

“We do not expect in those situations … it would have any negative effect,” he said.

Councilmember Kristy Salisbury called it an “excellent idea.”

“It gives our staff time to get stuff together,” she said.

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