By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
The minority and women business plan for FY23, which requires the town to make “good-faith efforts” to recruit enterprises owned or majority-owned by women or minorities, was unanimously approved by the Berlin Town Council on Monday.
Institution of the plan allows these businesses to receive state and federal funds through the town.
“This is something Ivy needs to have in place for a grant that she’s going after,” said Town Administrator Mary Bohlen. Essentially, it’s something we’ve done in the past when we were able to make use of quad grant funds. it simply states that the town will make every effort to hire businesses that are minority- or women-owned enterprises.”
Councilmember Dean Burrell asked if a report has to be made to any entity regarding the town’s progress in its efforts, and Community and Economic Development Director Ivy Wells said she did not believe there was such a requirement.
“What this specifically is meant for is the strategic demolition grant that we have already received,” she said. “Anything from the state over $250,000 needs to make sure that we have this in place.”
Bohlen added that, however, if the federal or state governments did a full monitoring and audit of the grant, they would need to have documentation.
When asked by Councilmember Shaneka Nichols how long this program has been around, Bohlen said it has existed in various forms for some time. In the past, it was more specific to Community Block Development Grant funding but changes to its language were made to make it more generic, but it still generally fits the same requirements.
Councilmember Jack Orris asked if there was a U.S. veteran clause anywhere in the plan, and Bohlen replied that such a condition could be made.
This story appears in the print version of the Bayside Gazette on July 14, 2022.