The Crescent City Council has approved a two-year contract with Sacramento-based Adams-Ashby Group to provide administrative services for the state Community Development Block Grant.

The Adams-Ashby Group will replace former grant administrator Charlaine Mazzei, whose three-year contract expired on March 31, according to city staff.

City Finance Director Ken McDonald said the Adams-Ashby Group will help the city realize its long-term goal of administering grants in-house. The firm will help provide educational support to train staff to fully administer CDBG programs.

McDonald said he hopes the city will be able to undertake the administration of the CDBG grants when the new contract expires in two years.

The city is anticipating the funds to come through for one grant to fund a Second Street sewer project and to assist three social services, McDonald said. Two other grants are expiring in June and December, he said.

Councilwoman Kelly Schellong said she had been concerned about changing grant administrators before the grants expired. Some of the grants that will be passed on to the Adams-Ashby Group were secured by Mazzei, Schellong said.

But Schellong noted that the city is handling a lot of grants currently, one of which isn't paying anything out but still requires the city to pay $7,500 a year in expenses to close the grant.

"They have extensive background and experience and I think they really are going to be able to hand this off to the staff a lot more efficiently," Schellong said, referring to the Adams-Ashby Group.

Adams-Ashby will be paid with money from grants and will not require any outside funding, according to city staff.

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