ELK GARDEN – Hoping for a good return on their investment, the Elk Garden Mayor and Council this week agreed to hire Ralph Rice as a grant writer for the town.

By Ronda Wertman
Tribune Correspondent
ELK GARDEN – Hoping for a good return on their investment, the Elk Garden Mayor and Council this week agreed to hire Ralph Rice as a grant writer for the town.
Rice had contacted the town to offer his services, saying, “This is a guaranteed contract stating Ralph Rice will obtain in excess of $1,000 in funding and or goods within one year or he will refund the initial payment made to him by the Town of Elk Garden.”
Under the agreement for the one year term, the council will pay Rice five percent of all grants received whether in monies or goods in addition to his $1,000 fee.
“As a career public servant with a successful 21 year track record as a police chief, city government leader, innovator, professional writer, and proven grant writer I find myself ready to take on the challenge of becoming a team member with your municipality and become part of the future of this historic city and area as a grant writer,” said Rice, who resides in Myrtle Beach.
“Over the course of my career I have been responsible for acquiring in excess of $2.5 million in grant money, funding, etc. I have gained a wealth of experience successfully managing teams and growing public, as well as private sector entities. I have a strong track record for directing budget planning initiatives, developing marketable strategies, increasing shareholder responsibility and productivity, and being part of highly productive teams. I am particularly proud of attaining the wealth of knowledge that I have gained in strategic planning and grant writing,” he said.
Mineral County Sheriff’s Deputy Paden Yonker, who served under Rice while working in Capon Bridge, appeared before the council on Rice’s behalf.
“He’s a great guy and if he tells you he’s going to get you something, he will,” said Yonker. “Somebody with that kind of knowledge and experience is going to be valuable.”
“Ralph was consistent in working with Wal-Mart and other businesses. You’re not going to get a better person for a full-time grant writer,” said Yonker.
“It’s a win, win situation,” said Councilman Kevin Broadwater with the provision that if Rice doesn’t get $1,000 in grants he will repay his initial $1,000 fee.
To get started, the council is going to formulate a list of needs for the town with hopes that Rice will have success like he boasts in Ridgeley, Piedmont and Capon Bridge.
“It’s not something that is immediate. It’s a four to six month period to see results. He’s going to continue to pursue other grants,” assured Yonker.
Rice had presented a similar proposal last year to write grants for the City of Keyser, but the council voted in November to not accept his proposal.
On a final note, the council is seeking another medical provider to provide services in town with Potomac Valley Hospital giving notice of terminating its rental agreement in the town hall building.
Members of the council noted that originally the clinic was open more, but recently had only been open one day a week.
“I’d like to see an E-Z Care or an Urgent Care,” said mayor Marian Droppleman.
“I think we should give everyone a chance, if they want to come here,” added Broadwater.
Elk Garden will have its municipal election June 11 and registered voters living within the town limits wishing to file for mayor or council should call Droppleman at 304-813-3450 to complete a candidate packet. Applications must be filed between Jan. 14-26. Applications returned by mail must be postmarked by midnight Jan. 26.