Grant writing firm comes through
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Oct 10, 2013 | 1339 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In an effort to seek new sources of revenue for city projects, the Patterson City Council voted in early 2012 to bring on a grant-writing firm, California Consulting, to help find and secure tax money from government programs and donations from nonprofits for specific needs within the city.

Patterson uses grants to pay for police services and parks, among other needs, and to date, the strategy has worked. Since the city has been paying the firm — $3,000 a month, as well as nominal expenses that usually do not exceed $100 — the firm has been able to secure more than $186,000 in revenue for projects.

“We’re pretty happy with what they’ve brought in so far,” City Manager Rod Butler said Tuesday, Oct. 8.

Steve Samuelian, former assembly member and Congressional district director said two years ago, when he first came to the city council, that his firm was advocates for cities.

“Our specialty is bringing in more money than we’re paid,” Samuelian said in November 2011. “We have consistently brought in more money for our clients than we charge.”

Butler said so far, they’ve delivered with a California Department of Transportation Safe Routes to Schools grant and a CalFire Urban Forestry tree grant.

The firm also contributed to the city’s efforts to obtain a near $3 million California Energy Commission loan to help with the cost of the Chevron Energy Solutions project, which will turn Patterson’s city facilities green by using solar technology to generate electricity and retrofit street lights with more efficient LED technology.

The idea behind the Safe Routes to School project is to increase the number of children who walk or bicycle to school by funding projects that remove the barriers that currently prevent them from doing so, such as a lack of sidewalks or upgraded crosswalks.

Thirty years ago, 60 percent of children living within a 2-mile radius of a school walked or bicycled to school. Today, that number has dropped to less than 15 percent. Today, roughly 25 percent commute by school bus, and well over half are driven to or from school in vehicles. Patterson received $135,200 in funding with the help of California Consulting.

The city’s $55,000 urban forestry grant will help city staff catalog all of the city owned trees and their condition, ages and maintenance schedules.

Butler said California Consulting will be around as long as they keep producing.

“As long as they keep bringing in more than they’re charging, I think the council’s attitude is ‘Let’s keep it going.’”

Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31 or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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