Monica Weber, DNR, Local 101
Protecting Taxpayer Money
I’m on a team at the Department of Natural Resources that helps to manage two state grant programs: The Legacy Outdoor Heritage Fund and the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Grants are available to local governments and nonprofits for conservation and environmental improvements in our state through these reimbursement programs. My job is to process reimbursement requests for grantees, while always keeping an eye out to protect taxpayer money. My team provides a lot of assistance for those Minnesotans who receive these grants to help them meet their project goals. I work with 40 grantees. When they apply for reimbursement, I check every single receipt, contract and invoice to make sure they add up and are appropriate expenses. Then, another person on my team double-checks it. We have processed over $4 million through the system since March 16 – the date our team started teleworking. The process is going just as quickly as if we were in the office.
Each year, I touch base with every grantee to monitor how funds are being spent. We’re now in the middle of our annual monitoring period and are meeting via conference calls. We want to make this process as easy as possible for our grantees to ensure fiscal responsibility and transparency. I provide a lot of customer service in terms of answering questions and providing guidance and direction. I’ve gotten to build personal relationships with my grantees through this process and these relationships have only grown stronger during these trying times.