The City of Victoria has created a grants administrator position to seek out more and better funding opportunities across all City departments.
“Grants are a critical resource for us to maximize our funding and provide more services to our residents,” City Manager Jesús A. Garza said. “Having a grants administrator will allow us to pursue many opportunities that we’re currently missing.”
Victoria’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan calls for the City to make use of diverse funding sources for development and enhancement efforts. External grant funding is identified in the plan as an effective way to supplement local budgets and expedite projects.
The role includes researching grant opportunities at the federal, state, local and private levels; determining whether the City qualifies; collaborating with City leadership to prepare applications; and compiling data on grant funding, which will help City leadership to make decisions about budgeting and resources.
Katy Connally recently was promoted to the new position from her previous role as a legal assistant with the City. She has begun meeting with department heads to discuss upcoming projects that might benefit from grant funding. Many municipal grants require a matching contribution from the recipient, so even if the City has already budgeted for a project, grant funding may be available to offset part of the cost.
For example, Connally is working with Parks & Recreation Director Jason Alfaro to pursue a grant from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for the planned renovation of the duck pond in Riverside Park, which is budgeted for $1.25 million. If awarded, grant funding could cover half the cost of the renovation, which would free up funds for other projects.
In addition, the City is pursuing a multimillion-dollar hazard mitigation grant from the federal Community Development Block Grant program. As part of the application process, an engineer will help assess areas of the city that are prone to flooding and recommend drainage and flood management projects to better protect these areas from hurricanes and other disasters.
Prior to working for the City, Connally worked for Victoria College, where she started as an administrative assistant for a grant program and then moved on to grant management, coordinating activities funded by a multimillion-dollar grant, before working in the marketing department.
Connally said her knowledge of the City and organizational skills developed during her years in Legal will be helpful in her new role.
“Increasing our access to grant funding will improve the lives of everyone who lives and works in Victoria,” Connally said.
Grant applications previously were handled by individual City departments. With the addition of the grants administrator role, the City can better navigate the complex application process, keep track of new and ongoing grant opportunities and measure overall success.
The city is currently working to establish master plans for Parks & Recreation and the Victoria Main Street Program, which will better position the City to pursue grants and allocate new funding based on the community’s wishes.
Information about how residents can get involved in the master planning process will be published at www.victoriatx.gov; in the City’s weekly newsletter, The City View; and on the City’s Facebook page, “City of Victoria, Texas – Government.”
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