Commission Secretary Denice Brown has been chosen by the Board of Lincoln County Commissioners to fill the duties of county grants administrator.

After nearly an hour of discussion at the county commission meeting Oct. 7, the board decided to add the county grants administrator’s responsibilities to Brown’s list of duties.

Brown initially applied for the job in 2008 and has past experience as a human services director and with writing grants.

At the time, the position went to Shawn Frehner, who less than a year later took the position of deputy county treasurer and then was elected treasurer upon the retirement of Kathy Hiatt.

In the meantime, Elaine Zimmerman was hired as grants administrator. Zimmerman was dismissed by the board in September.

“I feel I can do both,” Brown said. “I feel there are many opportunities out there for grants for us to be able to apply for. And I think it’s an opportunity budget wise as I think it will save $50,000-$60,000 a year of another full-time person.”

Commissioners discussed a number of options regarding how to quickly fill the position. Speed was of paramount importance as several large audits are coming up and there’s also a need to “rebuild the database and the last year or so of information.”

Commissioners accepted Jared Brackenbury’s motion to hire Brown on a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Bevan Lister abstained from voting as Brown is his sister.

Brown and Frehner have been keeping up with the work of grants administering and applications since Zimmerman’s dismissal and Brown said she thought with Frehner’s continued help for a little while yet, they will be able to get the accounting aspect, spreadsheets, etc. straightened out.

Frehner commented that she could finish the task out knowing Brown will be taking over completely later on.

Brackenbury was appointed by Chairman Varlin Higbee to be the commission liaison with Brown as grants administrator.