Applicants sought for grant program

SOLANA BEACH — Applications with temporarily revised guidelines are currently being accepted for the 2010-2011 Community Grant Program, which provides funding to nonprofit, community-based, nongovernmental groups that serve Solana Beach and its residents.
This year priority will be given to nonprofit organizations that provide services and goods “to Solana Beach groups or individuals with special economic needs that are not being met in the economic environment,” according to the staff report.
That includes agencies “unable to serve these populations in need” because funding has been reduced or eliminated.
Since 2004, the city has awarded $25,000 annually for the grant program. This year the amount was reduced to $22,500, which includes $5,000 each from Coast Waste Management and EDCO Waste and Recycling Services, the city’s two waste haulers.
The grant process was expected to begin at the Sept. 22 meeting, but council members were hesitant to spend the $12,500 the city budgeted for the program because a fiscal emergency has been declared.
While Councilwoman Lesa Heebner shared her colleagues’ concerns, she said that given the current economy, many organizations need the financial assistance now more than ever, especially those that help the underserved.
She and Councilman Mike Nichols worked to modify the guidelines that were presented and adopted at the Oct. 13 meeting.
The city is required to allocate the $10,000 from the two waste haulers. Additional funds, if any, granted by the city will depend on the applications received.
Noting that he still has concerns about spending city money, Councilman Joe Kellejian said he will be “very, very critical.”
Applications are due by 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at City Hall, 635 S. Coast Highway 101. Council will hold a public review Nov. 17. Grant recipients will be announced Dec. 8.
When possible, applicants are encouraged to form partnerships with other funding organizations. Projects for which grants are given must be completed between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, 2011.
A budget, financial reports and receipts will be required. For a list of other criteria, visit the city website at www.ci.solana-beach.ca.us.
Last year eight organizations received grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. They included the Community Resource Center, North Coast Repertory Theatre, the Solana Beach Community Sing-along and Buddy Bowl Inc., which planned to use the funds to build a community garden at Skyline Elementary School. Mayor Tom Campbell did not support the distribution because North Coast Rep and Buddy Bowl were seeking funds for programs that did not help the less fortunate.

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