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Friends of El Mirage

In reviewing the various grants, it appears that there may be some duplication and/or excessive charges and costs.  As a government analyst and an avid off road rider, I want to make sure these limited funds are used wisely.  I do agree that these grants are quite needed and really help all of us that are using these areas.  Below are my comments for the El Mirage grants (I found two):

The staff labor rates seem to be excessive. Using government standards, staff with similar titles are typically GS6 thru GS9.  The highest paid in those categories is at $40/hr max.  So three of the four jobs appear to be much higher than typical rates.  Right now, with so many people out of work, I can’t see any reason to be paying well above normal rates.

This grant has similar issues, showing a “Project Coordinator” vs. a “Project Manager”.  I’m not sure what the difference would be and why the pay is different.  In either case, the pay is well above the norm. [A. Herrera - 3/17/13]

I whole-heartedly support the subject grant applications and hope that they will be fully funded.  These guys are doing a fantastic job maintaining enormous trail systems at a minute fraction of the cost of comparable SVRA's.  We need more partnerships like Friends of Jawbone, El Mirage and the CTUC!!! [Phil Pulley - 3/27/13]

I have a couple more questions regarding my review of the grants.

It looks like the Friends of Jawbone and Friends of El Mirage are the same people as they refer to each other in some of the grant write-up and have the same contact people, so to reduce the number of emails, I have combined these questions.

My husband and I spend a lot of time riding in the Jawbone area.  I want to start by saying we like the Friends of Jawbone maps sold in the store.  However, if I am reading this correctly, the OHV grant appears to be paying for these maps.  It seems to be a bit of "double dipping" to use our grant funds to buy these and then turn around and sell them to us...

G12-04-13-G01 vs. G12-04-13-S02
One shows "project manager" vs "project coordinator" positions that run/manage the project.  One is at $42/hr while the other is at $57/hr for what appears to be the same job within the same group.  Although the $42/hr seems a bit high, clearly seems to be overpaid?

G12-04-13-G01 vs. G12-04-13-R01
a.  Both have a line to purchase a Toyota 4x4 truck.  Both grants are for Friends of Jawbone.  Is this a duplication error or are you trying to buy 2 trucks? 

b.  On -G01, there is a line for the "use of" a toyota 4x4 truck.  Almost seems like you are trying to pay to "use" the truck that you're buying on the other grant. 

c.  There are multiple lines for fuel and/or maintenance costs.  We use a straight cost to cover all of those items, based on the use.  For charitable orgs, its at 0.14/mi, while business use is at 0.565/mi.  Since most of these seem to be toyota trucks, would this not be the correct way to track these?  I may be overthinking it since this is what I do for the government...

G12-04-13-S04 vs G12-04-13-S02
a. We have project managers, lead programmers, and lead designers doing similar software on base.  They are typically GS6 to GS9's.  Top pay for them is about $40/hr.  Rates seem high.

b. Owlshead program (seems like it could be a help, but I don't use Garmin...) appears in both grants.  Looks like a duplication of effort.

c.  I see costs for ArcGis, which we use out here.  Great program and I clearly see the need, no question.  Just a note that I am aware of additional grants that are available from them directly for groups like yours.  I believe grant information is still available on thier website.  It may help off-set some of these direct costs.

Sorry for all the questions, but with my background, its what I do.  I think what you guys do is really great, but I believe its our job as the payers of the green sticker tags to make sure we are spending it wisely and that we don't duplicate services across these grants!! [A. Herrera - 4/1/13]