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"Is Your City Grant Ready?" - Municipal Association of South Carolina Annual Meeting, presenting attorney: Britton Bonner, Friday, July 11, 2:30 p.m., Charleston Place Hotel at 205 Meeting Street in Charleston

Bonner will lead a breakout session, “Is Your City Grant Ready,” outlining how a city can increase its chances of success in accessing federal dollars by taking several proactive steps to be “grant ready.” Bonner said what was once considered the “old reliable” method for funding many municipal projects changed significantly in 2010. The “earmark” ban, put in place by Congress in 2010, effectively moved the decision-making power Congress used to have to the executive branch. With the earmark ban, the dynamics for municipalities seeking federal funds shifted and changed the way things operate on Capitol Hill. The process is becoming more and more “competitive” and may seem to be an onerous undertaking for some.

Bonner added that instead of working with congressional office staffers at the local or field office level, municipalities now must deal with professional staff in executive agencies in Washington who sets the criteria for awarding funds that were once appropriated directly by a municipality’s representative or senator.