Prospective City of Bamberg grant writers must submit RFPs
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

In a matter that was a carryover from their June 10, meeting concerning grant writing options for the City of Bamberg, Bamberg City Council members agreed at their July 8, regular monthly meeting to require that all future prospective grant writers for the City submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) before being considered for hiring.

Council members also agreed to Council member Kathy Schwarting’s suggestion that the City should “look at all the needs of the City as a whole” instead of just looking at one department when considering writing grants and prioritize the needs of the various departments.

“At some point we need to have some discussion of what type of activities we want our grant writer to look for, what areas where our needs are and do a thorough examination besides just focusing on the police department,” Schwarting said, noting that the police department may be the main department to look at now, but there are other areas like the fire department and downtown development to look at also.

Schwarting, who noted that she has been writing grants for the last 15 years, noted that a lot depends on “the experience” of the grant writer. She stated that there was “a lot of federal money out there” in acknowledging that federal grants were “thick grants to write” and some writers may not have experience writing them. “ We need to tailor the experience of the grant writer with what the City is looking for,” Schwarting said.

Council member Janeth Walker wanted to know if Council would be seeking the services of more than one grant writer. Schwarting stated that Council would have to be “a little bit flexible” with the grant writer during the process. City of Bamberg Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson noted also that Council would need to tailor what it wanted in a grant writer once RFPs are submitted.

Also during Monday night’s meeting: Council members approved the adoption of A Model Loss Control Policy. Clerk Watson explained that this was required each year to meet insurance company requirements that also required a safety policy for city employees to be in place.

Council members also approved a resolution of support from Bamberg County Council supporting a Certificate of Need for Colleton County Hospital to build a free standing emergency department on the grounds of the former Bamberg County Hospital.

Also under new business at Monday night’s meeting, Council members approved the 2013-2014 Fire Service Contract with Bamberg County. The contract calls for the City of Bamberg to receive a quarterly payment of $50,500 from Bamberg County for Fire Service. Clerk Watson noted that the amount of money the City receives from the County for fire service has not changed in several years. And with the County raising its millage rate for the fire service and with 60 % of the calls the city receives being out in the county, the City may need to ask the County for an increase in funds in the near future. It was also noted that the Bamberg Fire Department is the only department that employees three full-time engineers and operates 24/7 on a budget of $250,000.

Council member Janeth Walker, Chairperson of the City of Bamberg Fourth of July Celebration said she wanted to thank Jim Tobul, CEO of Tobul Accumulator and his staff and Bob Hurst CEO of Phoenix Specialty for a “superb job” on the fireworks display Thursday night. Walker noted that while the entertainment portion of the event was rained out, the fireworks display was “superb.”

“They did a fantastic job and I appreciate what they did,” Walker said, adding “ they promised it would be bigger and better this year and they met that.”