Grass Valley asked to provide financial support for arts and community events |

Grass Valley asked to provide financial support for arts and community events

Local arts organizations made community funding pitches Tuesday to the Grass Valley City Council for inclusion in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Each group proposes project-oriented funding requests rather than more general operations support. This year, requests came in totaling $50,000, down from last year’s asks of $85,000, but still in excess of the $35,000 earmarked for the organizations.

Amber Jo Manuel, executive director of The Center for the Arts, told the council members she was asking for $20,000 — $5,000 for the renovated center’s inaugural season, $5,000 for grand opening ceremonies, $5,000 for California WorldFest, and $5,000 for youth arts education. Manuel noted that the renovated center will have much more seating and will do a great deal to make the organization more self-sustaining in the future.

The Grass Valley Downtown Association requested $12,500 — $5,000 for the Thursday Night Market, $5,000 for Cornish Christmas and $2,500 for the Grass Valley BrewFest. Executive Director Marni Marshall noted the farmer’s market would be expanded this year, with a longer selling season. She also highlighted new events like the BrewFest and inclusion in The Great Race, adding, “This will be a big deal for our town.”

Nevada County Arts Council Executive Director Eliza Tudor asked for $7,500 for the California Cultural District program, telling the council it would allow the organization to leverage matching funds from other sources. South Yuba River Citizens League requested $5,000 to support the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and the Economic Resource Council asked the city to be the title sponsor of this year’s economic development summit, for $5,000.

Before the annual funding pitches, Finance Director Andy Heath discussed what he called a “base case scenario” ahead of presenting the preliminary annual budget to the city council, which is scheduled for the May 28 council meeting.

Heath on Tuesday presented a “base budget overview” workshop to better inform the decision-making process. The forecast was developed using a “Base Case” scenario, with annual ongoing costs to deliver a defined level of service citywide being compared to estimated annual ongoing revenues, Heath wrote in his staff report. The financial forecast focused solely on the General Fund and Measure E Fund, with Heath noting that Measure E funds pay for more than 20 public safety positions as well as maintenance and parks projects.

Heath listed a number of potential items that could be funded in the next budget, including adding a full-time firefighter, the costs to be shared between Grass Valley and Nevada City; replacing the city’s financial accounting systems; a city-wide aerial survey; a pavement management plan update; and City Hall and other city facility upgrades and improvements.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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