Mayor’s grant pay discussed | SteamboatToday.com

Mayor’s grant pay discussed

Susan Cunningham

After Mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman, and Trustees Karen Halterman and Stephen “Spike” Beven were sworn into their positions at Thursday’s Town Board meeting, attention quickly was turned to business.

Trustee Bill Paxton, re-elected Tuesday, could not attend the meeting because of a surgery earlier this week.

One of the first decisions the new Town Board made was how to change Rodeman’s grant-writing contract.

Rodeman left the room as the Town Board, with Halterman acting as Mayor Pro-Tem, discussed payments for Rodeman’s South Routt Grant Services.

In June of last year, Rodeman was contracted with the town to receive $25 an hour for no more than 32 hours a month, or $800 a month, for grant-writing services.

Former trustee Jim Eskridge, who lost his position Tuesday by four votes, asked as an audience participant whether the town received a semi-annual report from Rodeman describing the grants she applied for and received on behalf of the town.

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Town Trustee Mike Kien said the Town Board has brought up the reports before but has not yet received them.

Kien and Eskridge agreed that Rodeman’s work had been positive for the town and had allowed the town to take “huge steps,” as Kien said, but also agreed the Town Board needed more notice on what grants she was going after and why.

“The grant writer should do the bidding of the Town Board, not tell the Town Board what we’re doing after the fact,” Kien said.

Halterman said that because some grants become available at certain times, Rodeman should have discretion to jump on some grants and call a special works session to alert trustees about the grant.

Trustee J. Elliot said it was important for the Town Board as a whole to decide whether the town should apply for certain grants because of the in-kind work and matching funds required for the grants.

“We’re committing town resources without a board approval,” Elliot said.

Director of Public Works Jim Photos brought up the Main Street beautification and pedestrian safety grant the town recently was awarded from the Colorado Department of Transportation and said some things were left out of the grant that could cost the town money.

The trustees, except for Kien, who said he felt there was a conflict of paying an elected official as a town employee, voted to modify Rodeman’s contract to require her to give semi-annual reports, and to bring up grants with the Town Board before applying for them, and voted to give Rodeman a $10 per hour raise. Through grant writing, she could make as much as $1,120 a month.

In other business:

n The Town Board discussed changes to the final annexation agreement for the Sierra View Subdivision, which will be presented and voted on at the April 22 meeting.

n The Town Board agreed to waive monthly water and sewer charges for vacant apartments at the Senior Apartments in Oak Creek.

n The Town Board agreed to spend about $260 for a costs estimate and grant-writing fees for a grant to renovate the Old Town Hall for a museum and visitor’s center.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com