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D.C. firm tells City Council that grant funds are coming
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Councilmembers who wanted to know what kind of results they might see for a $67,200 annual investment in a consulting firm got an earful on Monday.

In July 2023 the council hired Capitol Advocacy Partners to begin attempts to snag more grant money for the city. The contract with the Washington, D.C. based company costs $5,600 per month, or $67,200 for the year. In addition to the monthly fee, the group charges an additional flat fee for grant writing, such as a flat fee of $7,500 to $12,500 depending on number of necessary pages.

City Manager Doug Dunford sold the idea based on his experience with the Washington, D.C. based group when he was employed by another city.

Dana DeBeaumont and Dante Moreno gave a rundown of monies that could be coming the city’s way.

“We are your active voice in Washington, D.C.,” DeBeaumont told the council. “We work with Congress, the agencies and the administration. What we really do is try to share your agenda. We work for you. One of the things we do is focus on grants. That’s really our speciality.” 

The firm snagged $20,000 from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to help cover costs of an electric vehicle truck for the Public Works fleet.

Moreno said the firm is working on snagging $5.4 million which is pending, including a grant of $3.1 million for a homeless outreach team under the auspices of the Ceres Police Department. She also stated that her team has submitted a community project request of $2.26 million from U.S. Senator Laphonza Butler to upgrade the Ceres American Legion Memorial Building and create a cooling center in it.

The firm is working on getting $76,660 from the U.S. Department of Energy for an electric vehicle.

Another grant being pursued is a California Attorney General Tobacco Grant that would enable the city to create a tobacco compliance program, funding for officer overtime, surveillance equipment, decoy operations and police training. It would also pay for half a School Resource Officer.

Capitol Advocacy also is trying to find the city money from:

• The Safe Streets and Roads for All Act (DOT) to help fund the design of a new Service Road, decreasing lanes. 

• COPS Hiring grant to partner with schools to provide one additional School Resource Officer. The grant would pay for about half of the officer, with $125,000 over three years.

The firm also wants to seek funding to restore the Ceres water tower.