Grants are a great way for small towns to receive funding beyond the normal limits of operational budgets. For any local cash-strapped government looking to expand or maintain services, grants can provide that little extra that can eventually make a difference.

Grants can help bridge the gap between a town’s resources and its desire to do more. Grants are not the end-all solution when budgets are not enough, but they can make a difference.

In the last few years, Marlinton has been fairly successful at applying for and receiving small grants. Grants are a tricky business and hard for most to understand. First of all, you are seldom applying for what are considered top priority projects. When applying, you are basically looking for what is available and trying to select and apply for grant opportunities that fit parts of an overall plan.

Sometimes you may apply simply because you are eligible. Also, what probably seems strange from the outside, is the order of grants as received. You may have applied for 10 parts of the proverbial puzzle (in order) and receive parts 9, 6, 4, and 8, before 1, 2, or 3.

The good news is, grants can help pay for communication equipment, software, biking trails, community green spaces or even provide funding for training, in certain situations.

The truth is, any town can benefit from a little grant writing – and prayer.