BRUNSWICK — Brunswick may soon find more opportunities to fund community growth and development, thanks to the council’s unanimous decision Tuesday night to create a “grant writer” position in the economic and community development department. 

The new position, which can start Nov. 1,  will focus on writing grants but will also assist Sally Costello, the director and currently the sole member of the “department.” 

Councilor Toby McGrath was the first to float the idea as a possible source of additional funding for the town, and according to Town Manager John Eldridge, “anybody who has been around for a bit knows there’s a lot of activity going on in Brunswick.” 

According to Costello, Cook’s Corner is due for some concentrated, organized development, as she and officials in the private sector work to “create a sense of place” and “invest more in infrastructure.”

There are also opportunities for traffic improvements in the Cook’s Corner area as well as other places in town. She hopes to attract more private investment and growth to help move Brunswick into an economic position that will attract “more businesses and better businesses.” 

A grant writer would not only help Costello find funding for some of these endeavors but would also give her the time to focus on higher-level issues, according to Eldridge. 

The $63,000 position, being dubbed “Economic Development Specialist/Grant Writer” is funded by the revenue captured by the Cooks Corner tax increment financing district. Tax increment financing — or “TIF” — is a tool municipalities use to capture tax revenue in designated areas of town that are likely to see development. That money can be used for special projects, often within that district. 

According to meeting materials, the Cook’s Corner TIF allows for money to be allocated to “‘general economic development,’ including support for economic development staffing and professional services.” 

Councilor Steve Walker said grants have been a strong source of funding for the community in the past but that in recent years “we haven’t taken advantage of them.”

Councilor Dan Jenkins agreed and called the move a “win for the town” that will “pay for itself tenfold over time.” 

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