Council looking at new community service grant process
Written by Mark Reaman   
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
More than $100K requested

The deadline to apply for community service grants with the town of Crested Butte was Friday, September 21 and $114,000 has been requested by various organizations. The town is in the midst of revamping its granting process and this will be the first cycle that falls under new rules. Those new rules have yet to be finished but among other things, applicants will be expected to give a very thorough explanation of what the money would be used for if awarded. Last year the town awarded approximately $56,000.

 

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“To me it is a matter of accountability,” said Councilperson Shaun Matusewicz. “I think if someone asks for, say, marketing money, they shouldn’t just tell us that they need $900 for advertising. They should tell us they need $350 for an ad in Westword, and $550 for an ad in Colorado Today or whatever. They should be very specific with their requests.”
Lois Rozman, town finance director, assured Matusewicz that the new application form asks specifically how any funds will be spent. Councilperson Jim Schmidt said in many non-profit organization budgets, if the town awarded a grant for marketing, for instance, then money previously budgeted for that line item would simply be moved to another place in its budget.
Rozman explained that historically, the town has granted about $60,000 a year to various service organizations or non-profit groups hoping to bring in new groups or expand marketing of the area in some way. “Traditionally, there has been about a 60-40 split between social services getting the majority of the money over economic development requests,” said Rozman.
“I’d prefer to see more economic development grants,” said Matusewicz.
“I’d have a hard time telling the Jubilee House or Partners they were going to get a reduced grant because we wanted to buy another ad,” countered Schmidt.
“I’m not saying exclude them,” said Matusewicz.
Rozman said in the past, most of the applications for grants have come from social service organizations.
The council felt comfortable keeping the informal 60-40 split ratio when deliberating over the grant requests.
A subcommittee of Rozman, Schmidt and Matusewicz will provide the first look at the grant requests in October. They will then come to the full council with recommendations that then become part of the 2013 budget.
As part of the new granting process, the council wants to take grant requests only twice a year. Seventy-five percent of the money will be set aside for the fall cycle while the remaining 25 percent can be allocated during a second spring grant cycle.