City doles out $123,000 in community grants |

City doles out $123,000 in community grants

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The city of Glenwood Springs will award more than $123,000 in discretionary grants to a variety of nonprofit human service, youth and community arts programs this year.That’s down from the nearly $143,000 in grants made last year. It’s less than half of the roughly $300,000 in funding requests received by the city this spring from 50 different organizations.Approximately $8,623 still remains in the community grant fund. However, that money may end up going to help pay for the July 4th fireworks.City Council last week issued a matching grant challenge for the traditional holiday fireworks. The usual funding source – a portion of city lodging tax dollars – has not been available in recent years.If $9,000 can be raised through private business and individual donations by Thursday, May 19, council has agreed to commit the remaining $9,000 to cover the fireworks cost.Meanwhile, council approved a total of $123,687 in community grants, based on recommendations from the city’s Financial Advisory Board. The FAB is charged with reviewing the annual grant applications.The same guiding principles used in past years to determine grant allocations were again used to divvy up the available money this year, said Glenwood Springs Mayor Matt Steckler, who also sits on the FAB.”First, we look at the applicants that provide for some of the core needs from a human services perspective, including the more established organizations,” Steckler said.”Then we look at the remaining funds and try to fill in where we can with some of the programs that we feel have a broader impact on our community,” he said.That includes weighing the services offered and, specifically, what the money is to be used for, Steckler said.”Typically, organizations that have been awarded in previous years are given priority,” he said.Most grant awards were less than the requested amount, although some did receive the full amount asked for. Others saw their funding amount from city decrease from last year, as the city coffers have been hit by the economic downturn.In the human services category, several local poverty relief organizations will receive some of the larger grants, including the local Salvation Army ($10,000), Feed My Sheep Ministry for the homeless ($9,000), Catholic Charities ($8,000) and LIFT-UP ($5,000).YouthZone, which provides a range of programs and services for at-risk youth and their families, and which also serves as a referral agency for the local juvenile court system, is slated to receive one of the larger grants at $11,700.That matches the grant amount for the organization last year, but is less than the $19,700 requested for this year.Several other programs aimed at youth were also funded by the city, including $6,000 each to the Sopris Barracudas Swim Team, and the Glenwood Springs youth soccer and hockey clubs.Several extracurricular programs offered at Glenwood Springs High School also received funding, including the mock trial and DECA programs. The city also funded the after-prom and after-graduation parties, which are meant to provide an alcohol-free place for teenagers to gather after those events.Two community arts, entertainment and special event requests were approved to receive city funding:• $15,000 for the new Glenwood Center for the Arts Summer of Music, which will replace the former Summer of Jazz in Two Rivers Park this summer.• $8,000 for the Glenwood Springs Downtown Partnership, which organizes events such as the classic car show, the December holiday lights and other downtown events.”We looked at the summer concert series and the events the downtown partnership does as something that are important to the community from an economic standpoint,” Steckler said. “We felt we needed to continue to support that.”

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