WALKER - Cass County Board voted to appeal to area legislators and congressional representatives before deciding whether to accept a partial grant the county veterans service office has been awarded.
Faye Dudley, veterans service officer, told the board Tuesday she had applied for a two-year Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs grant, asking $101,577 to pay wages and benefits, obtain office equipment and a computer program for an additional employee for her office.
She was awarded only $47,773 for one year, primarily to be applied for wages for one employee for one year.
Her first inclination was to refuse the grant, because she had planned to spend a lot of time training the new employee the first year and only expected to see a benefit when the person could work on his/her own the second year. The approved grant terms do not allow her to hire someone part time for two years, but only full time for one year.
It was Dudley's hope to expand hours at Pine River Government Center and to provide regular outreach services to nursing homes and assisted living residences.
It doesn't make sense to start a new program one year, then cancel it the next year, she told the board.
Without a source for paying the employee a second year, she believes the grant becomes worthless.
However, the county board thought there might be a way to appeal the grant amount or terms through legislators.
Reps. Frank Moe and Larry Howes and Sen. Mary Olson were invited earlier and are expected to attend a February Cass County Board meeting on a variety of issues. Information about the partially funded veterans services grant will be forwarded to them before the meeting.
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