Rifle housing official wins $10K bonus grant
Natalie Bowman, the executive director of the Rifle Housing Authority, was shocked earlier this month when she was named the “Grantee of the Year” at the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District’s awards banquet in Glenwood Springs.
The engraved stone plaque comes with a $10,000 award.
“They were showing pictures on the screen and I looked and they started showing my pictures,” Bowman said. “It was awesome to get this award from them.”
Bowman still needs to meet with the housing authority board to discuss what to do with the money, but she said she’s been toying with the idea of doing some landscaping in front of Jackson Heights apartments at 250 Ute Ave.
According to Patti Payne, administrative assistant to the FMLD, Bowman is very deserving of the award.
“She met all of the criteria we were looking for,” Payne said.
The criteria include looking at the quality of the projects; the quality of the application; the timeliness of the project’s completion; and compliance with the program’s rules and guidelines.
In the past, Bowman won grants for $20,000, $16,000 and $25,000 that were used to put in ramps to make sidewalks ADA compliant, construct walk-in showers in the apartments and to install new windows in the 30 of the apartments.
“Anything $25,000 or under is considered to be a mini-grant and anything over $25,000 is a traditional grant,” Payne said. “Twice a year, we give out grants in the spring grant cycle and the fall grant cycle.”
In 2014, the FMLD gave out six spring traditional grants, eight fall traditional grants, 14 spring mini-grants and nine fall mini-grants for a total of $3.6 million, Payne said.
“The money comes from lease payments made to the federal government by people mining for oil and gas on Garfield County land,” she explained. “The federal government gives back some to the state and the Department of Local Affairs gave us $5.4 million in 2014, plus another $400,000 in PILT (Payment In Lieu of Taxes) money.
PILT assists local governments carry out such vital services as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations.
The FMLD operates to alleviate social, economic and public finance impacts resulting from federal mineral leasing activities in local communities. The 2015 spring grant cycle is slated to begin in February, with awards announced in April.
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