When we started to pursue the NYS Local Government Efficiency Grant for the Town and Village of Ellicottville to set up a new engineering department, I have to admit I knew little about how important that department is for the health and wellbeing of a small community.
The Town and Village had been using the outside consulting services of a local engineer. And while he was incredibly talented and hardworking, he was also ready to retire! Leadership realized that if they set up an Engineering department, jointly, and hired someone full time that they could actually save money and offer more services to the public.
Working with them to craft the application, answer detailed questions, and communicate with the State about the parameters taught me so much about how the engineers are the key to economic development activities.
Since securing the grant, the office has been set up, equipment and services are in place, and an engineer was hired. Now the tiny Village and small Town have the in-house expertise they need to plan and execute like the larger communities they compete with for state and federal funds!