Tuesday, July 9, 2013 | 3:39 p.m.
Nevada is getting serious about plucking more federal money for state programs.
“Nevada does not apply for as many grants as we can,” said Kimberly Elliott, chief of grants management for the state.
Nevada ranks 55th in applying for grants when compared with other states and territories, she said.
Her comments came after the state Board of Examiners approved contracts Tuesday with three companies to help find opportunities for the state to pursue federal money and prepare the grant applications.
The $500,000 contracts are going to BEC Environmental Inc. of Las Vegas; Building Hope Nevada of Henderson; and TST & Associates, headquartered in Alabama.
Elliott said a meeting was scheduled with BEC on Tuesday afternoon to talk about possible additional grants in education, environment, economic development and other areas.
The Office of Grants Management, part of the state Administration Department, said state agencies will be able to use these services to help prepare applications and budgets and for training of state grant analysts.
A 2012 study by the Office of Grants Management said “Nevada is missing out on potential grants because of a lack of awareness of the competitive funding opportunities, no established public-private partnerships, the inability to meet the match requirement and inadequate personnel to administer a grant.”
The report said there was a 48 percent jump in federal spending in Nevada from 2001 to 2010 due to the rapid rise in population. The increase covered such programs as Social Security, Medicare, disability, unemployent and tax refunds to individuals.
In a breakdown, federal grants to Nevada amounted to $1,371 per person, or 51st in federal spending among the states and Washington, D.C., in 2011.
The state got 85 percent of the federal grants; cities and counties, 10 percent; educational institutions received 3 percent; and American Indian tribes and nonprofits got the remaining 2 percent.
The report said it will “take the collaborative effort of each of the recipients to move the needle in Nevada’s favor.”