Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 14, 2013

BUDGET MOVES: Dyster hopes to bring back grant administrator, director of business development

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — That measure failed with Choolokian and Councilman Robert Anderson Jr. voting no and Grandinetti and Councilman Charles Walker voting yes.

Councilman Sam Fruscione was absent from the May 29 meeting.

If the line is again cut through a council amendment Dyster would have the votes to veto the cut, so long as both Walker and Grandinetti stick with their May votes.

Dyster said that Sherry Shepherd-Corulli, who acted as the city’s grant consultant before the line was cut from last year’s budget, has been helping departments struggling with grant administration issues to catch up on a volunteer basis in recent months.

“We’re very grateful,” Dyster said. “She didn’t have to do that.”

Dyster submitted a list of over $6 million worth of grants that the city is currently in the process of administering with his May resolution. Failure to properly report on the progress of the awards could result in financial penalties or the repayment of money already spent.

“Grant administration goes sometimes long after the physical project is done,” the mayor said.

Dyster said the $30,000 in the line — which has no other benefits tied to it - works to protect all the grant money the city has already been awarded and creates opportunities for the city to further pursue funding.

“Once you’ve ventured into a grant and you’ve signed an agreement you have responsibilities,” Dyster said.

Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian said he and Councilman Sam Fruscione will need to go through the proposed budget line by line before he will be able to comment on Dyster’s attempts to restore positions and salaries.

“When I do the budget I go line by line so it’s all a package deal,” Choolokian said. “I can’t just pick out four little things and say if they’re going to pass.” 

BUDGET MOVES: PART THREE EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the last in a three-part series examining aspects of Mayor Paul Dyster's proposed 2014 spending plan. Look for all three parts on our website niagara-gazette.com.

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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