Glenwood Springs awards another $50K in grants |

Glenwood Springs awards another $50K in grants

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The City Council awarded almost $50,000 in grants to local organizations last week.Following an advisory board’s recommendations, the City Council awarded $25,000 to the Downtown Business Association for holiday lighting, $15,707 to the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority for the Traveler senior transportation, $7,940 to Garfield County for senior nutrition and $1,250 to the Street Cat Coalition.The Street Cat Coalition is an affiliate of Colorado Animal Rescue that works to improve the lives of stray cats in the county.The total amount of discretionary grant funds was $144,777 this year, and $19,534 is still available.Financial Advisory Board (FAB) member Ken Murphy said the grant process this year was made interesting by questions about if and how the city would contribute funding to senior services in the county after Colorado Mountain College decided it would no longer administer all the programs. A little more than half of the money was awarded by May.”At that particular stage the city was concerned about where they were going to find funds for the traveler and senior services,” Murphy said.Only a few of the applicants received the full amount they requested. The total requests exceeded the amount of available funds, and uncertainty over senior services caused many of the requests to be scaled back, Murphy said.In one example, YouthZone had asked for $20,000 but only received $10,000. YouthZone told the city it would have to increase its hourly fee on youth cases to cover the shortfall, according to FAB minutes, but the city requested further funding be postponed until it could review YouthZone financial statements.The holiday lights are the largest discretionary grant award at $25,000. Cindy Svatos, a volunteer for the Downtown Business Association, said the total cost of the lights is around $40,000, which includes $20,000 or more in labor to put them up and take them down, and purchases of LED lights and new garlands.Svatos said LED lights have been purchased for the past few years, and after this year the holiday lights will all be LEDs. She said they last much longer and use 83 percent less electricity than traditional lights.”The lights in themselves are an event during the dark, gloomy, cold time of year and they’re so festive,” she said. “They really do make a statement that the community cares – and we’re competing with the other tourism markets.”She said funding the lights has always been a struggle, and without the $25,000 grant award a lighting committee would have had to pick between lighting Centennial Park or lighting trees on street corners downtown.People have until the end of the month to apply for the $19,534 remaining funds. Applications can be obtained from in the finance department section of the website. They must be sent to the city’s finance department by 5 p.m. Oct. 31. Any organization can submit a second application in a year as long as the total grant awards wouldn’t exceed 15 percent of the available funds – or about $21,000 this year.The money comes from sales tax revenue. The grants go to “organizations providing human, cultural or recreational services to Glenwood Springs’ citizens,” a letter from the city’s finance department says. Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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