NORTH SMITHFIELD – A grant writer who has had success securing millions for towns across the state is already working to win funds for the town of North Smithfield, while Solicitor David Igliozzi has advised local officials to follow a competitive bidding process before awarding someone the position more permanently.
Lisa Andoscia, president and CEO of Rosewood Consulting, began work on a temporary basis for North Smithfield last month after town leaders became aware they could soon miss the deadline to apply for a grant to improve infrastructure if immediate action wasn’t taken.
Town Administrator Paul Zwolenski authorized payment to Andoscia of up to $5,000 – an amount he’s authorized to commit unilaterally under the town charter – following consultation with Town Council President Kimberly Alves and Councilor John Beauregard, who first brought attention to the possible initiative.
“We all agreed it was in the town’s best interest,” Beauregard told NRI NOW this week of the temporary, one-month contract with the grant writer, approved in February.
Andoscia, a North Smithfield native, reportedly has more than two decades of experience in the field, on both the state and federal level, with success including a recent effort to secure more than $3 million for key projects in North Providence.
Beauregard said her work was first brought to his attention by Planning Board member Lucien Benoit, and the councilor began researching Andoscia’s experience.
“She has had great deal of success,” Beauregard said.
Beauregard reached out to Andoscia in February, and in the phone call that followed, she asked about the town’s anticipated funding needs. Infrastructure projects were cited, including one project specifically – an effort to extend town water lines along St. Paul Street.
Andoscia, Beauregard said, alerted him of an applicable grant that was set to expire prior to the Town Council’s meeting on Monday March 6, where he hoped to discuss her potential hire with the full board. He notified Zwolenski, who included Alves in a discussion regarding a temporary contract.
“He didn’t have to, but he got Kim and myself involved in the decision,” Beauregard said.
The grant writer has since applied for millions for the water project, and has also begun looking into funding sources for other town initiatives, such as the effort to reuse the property that once held Halliwell Elementary School.
Andoscia made an official presentation to the council at their meeting March 6, stating that for a $5,000-per-month retainer, the town could expect to receive at least $1 million annually. Councilors voted to have her submit a potential contract for an upcoming meeting.
Beauregard said that since that last council meeting, Igliozzi has advised the town to follow a legal procedure for the hire and publish a request for proposals for potential candidates, a process recently cited in a letter to NRI NOW submitted by resident Mary Cimini.
It’s advice the board is expected to follow, and Beauregard said he’s hopeful they can do so quickly.
“Paul has been working quite a bit with her already,” Beauregard said of the administrator. “She’s on top of a lot of stuff right now.”
From playgrounds and other open space initiatives, to water infrastructure and a new police station, he notes the potential to accomplish town goals with the help of a qualified professional is great.
“She’s the real deal,” Beauregard said. “If we do end up picking her, there won’t be any interruption in her service.”
Councilors are expected to take up the topic again at their next meeting on Monday, March 20.