LIVERMORE — During a special selectpersons meeting Monday, Oct. 19, a $5,000 grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life was unanimously accepted.

The Center for Tech and Civic Life received a large grant from the Chan Zuckersberg Initiative to support the 2020 election. The CTCL grants are for a minimum of $5,000.

“Renda caught on to this grant by doing her job, keeping her ears to the ground,” Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller said. “There are no matching funds required on our part.”

“A lot of towns aren’t getting the grant,” Town Clerk Renda Guild. They weren’t paying attention, she added.

Wanting some guidance from the board on how to spend the money, one thing in particular Guild mentioned was the town’s new website.

“The website is very educational and useful for our people,” she said. “Whether for elections, anything pertaining to elections, or other things. Taking $1,100 out of the grant is a great way to pay for it.”

People could sign up on the website to learn about elections or to help at the polls, Guild said.

Other proposed uses of grant funds were the purchase of two good quality portable radios and a handicapped accessible voting station.

“The radios could be used to help with parking during the election and later at the landfill,” Guild said. “With the booth, people can sit, we won’t have to worry about them falling.”

Guild said she had looked in to handicapped accessible voting booths, but those were much more expensive and she wanted to put more of the money where it was needed.

A handicapped accessible station costs $300 to $400, Miller said.

The town has already spent quite a bit to mail absentee ballots and grant moneys can be used for that, Guild said.

“We’ve had 575 requests so far for absentee ballots,” she said. “That’s 65 cents each to mail.”

“I’ve reached out to a lot of town clerks to see what they’re using the money for. We’ll have the money in three to five days,” Guild said. “They all said to make sure you use all of it. We have until Dec. 31 to spend the money.”

“It doesn’t have to be for this election,” Miller said. “It can be for future endeavors, the educational piece, not just buying things.”

Livermore received word of the grant award within 48 hours of submission and will have the funds within three to five days, Guild said.

“Use it for whatever you think you need,” Selectperson Scott Richmond said.

Guild will keep the board informed on how grant moneys are being spent.

The board also approved obtaining a bank card for Miller with a spending limit of up to $1,500. The card would be used for election and other town office purchases.

“We pay to attend election conferences and get reimbursed. Anytime we order something online, we have to cover that cost and get reimbursed for it,” Guild said. “We don’t get the tax exempt status (the town is eligible for).”

Former Administrative Assistant Amy Byron has a Visa card with a $5,000 limit on it. The board initially considered taking that card and reducing the spending limit on it since Byron is no longer in the office during business hours.

However, Selectperson Tracey Martin said there may be some direct payments scheduled for that card and Byron should be contacted before making any changes. Byron is still Livermore’s treasurer.

 


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