Nevada City creates $5,000 grants to finance special events which ‘provide a public benefit to the city’
Local community organizations and business associations in Nevada City will be getting a little financial lift from the city government.
The city council introduced a Community Economic Support Program during its Sept. 23 meeting at City Hall. The project will create a $5,000 grant to finance local organizations, marketing efforts and special events that “provide a public benefit to the city.”
The program was developed to create a standardized approach to the financial requests the city has had in the past from community organizations, said City Manager Mark Prestwich.
“The program would be in-line with relatively modest contributions the city has had the history of providing in the past, ranging from $250 to $3,000,” said Prestwich. “By creating a program like this, we hope to facilitate … the ability to identify the good ideas, prioritize budget appropriations and to identify what resources they have available in the city budget.”
City staff will begin accepting applications in January, and the requests will be integrated into the fiscal year 2016-17 budget building process, said Prestwich, adding that the time frame is flexible based on individual cases.
Eligible applicants include business associations, individual businesses, nonprofit organizations, the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and other efforts that meet program goals. Individual residents or neighborhood associations, however, are not eligible. The city council will be the sole deciding party when it comes to final approval. It’s important to distinguish the program from the Community Development Block Grant program and other small business grants the city has provided in the past, officials said.
“The small business association money benefits individuals, not the community as a whole,” said Councilman Duane Strawser. “This has to be people coming up with ideas that improve the quality of life and bring money and advertisement to the area.”
The program elicited questions from council members when it was introduced during the council meeting. Mayor Jennifer Ray said it’s important to allocate the same amount of funds to each economic initiative. The Economic Development Fund passed by the council, for example, is seeded with $10,000.
“We really need to have a structure of this so people can have an equal shot at it,” Ray said. “If we are going to help people financially, we want to be fair and equitable.”
Prestwich said the $5,000 starting monetary amount is flexible and could be adjusted should the need arise.
To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please email email@example.com, or call 530-477-4236
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