GarCo awards final $30K in discretionary grants
With $20,000 left in the discretionary fund for 2018, the Garfield County commissioners this week awarded $19,200 to five organizations as the quarterly grant program has concluded for the year.
In total, the county has allocated just under $100,000 for various equipment, infrastructure and operational requests from nonprofits and other organizations stretching from Carbondale to Parachute.
For the fourth quarter grants, the commissioners initially had seven requests from various organizations totaling $30,200.
A Post Independent article last week listed the final quarter request total at $31,700. However, the Glenwood Springs Downtown Market request was for $3,500, not $5,000 as was listed in the commissioners’ materials for the Nov. 5 meeting.
With just $20,000 left in the fund, commissioner Tom Jankovsky recommended the approval of $6,000 from the separate educational nonprofit fund for two of the requests — $2,500 to Colorado Mountain College for its non-traditional student scholarships program, and $3,500 to Yampah Mountain High School.
Jankovsky recommended an additional $1,500 be used from the discretionary fund to fulfill Yampah High’s $5,000 request for experiential education.
Additionally, County Manager Kevin Batchelder clarified that the West Elks Trails winter management project, which requested $5,000 from the commissioners, was already awarded a discretionary grant earlier this year. It is the county’s policy not to award grants to the same organization twice in one year.
Among the programs and events funded this quarter included the 2018 Grand Holiday community event for the Glenwood Springs Downtown Market; $5,000 for Silt Historical Park; $4,200 for KDNK radio to expand its Spanish-language programming; and $5,000 for GlenX business development and education programs in Glenwood Springs and Rifle.
“It’s reassuring to know that Garfield County is investing in education,” Jeanne Golay with CMC Foundation said at the Nov. 5 hearing, as the commissioners have supported the scholarship for non-traditional students since 2012.
While $100,000 has been budgeted in the discretionary fund for the commissioners for the past several years, on Monday the commissioners confirmed an additional $20,000 will be budgeted for 2019.
“We moved it up, as we don’t have the educational fund we’ve had in past years,” Jankovsky said.
The commissioners will actually have $5,000 less to fund for educational and nonprofit projects, even with the additional $20K.
Commissioner Mike Samson also proposed to cap the quarterly discretionary budgeted at $40,000 for 2019.
“We get hit every first quarter with a lot of requests,” Jankovsky responded. “We’d just be pushing them back.”
Samson explained, “My reasoning is if we have someone who has a true need come up halfway through the year and they never applied to anything in the first quarter, [this would] put them on more fair footing.”
“I’m good either way,” Jankovsky said. “It seems to work the way it is.”
The commissioners opted not to make any decisions yet, as they will wait to reconsider the proposal once the first quarter grant requests come in for 2019.
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Former Carbondale trustee Katrina Byars said she wants to bring a voice of environmental sustainability to the commission, and believes her opponent has served long enough.