Glenwood Springs City Council decides which nonprofits get what grants

Glenwood Springs Post Independent news graphic

The annual Financial Advisory Board grants were awarded to local nonprofits in Glenwood Springs, with a few not receiving the full funding they requested. 

“We received $600,000 in requests this year, more than twice as much as ever before because more organizations are becoming aware of the program,” city documents state. “Between the Tourism Fund, A&I Fund and what was carried forward from 2022, the Board had $383,344 available to award which means many organizations did not receive their full request.”

FAB recommended Council to award a total of $356,715 in grants, leaving $26,629 available for future awards.

Council approved the funding at the June 1 Council meeting.

Councilor Jonathan Godes said he would be open to awarding Great Expectations the full amount of grant funding because they requested $8,780 and were awarded $5,000.

He also pointed out how the city was only awarding Early Childhood Network $5,000 of the $50,000 they requested. Although he doesn’t think they need to make changes now, he said that Council talks a lot about childcare and how more should be done. He thinks they should consider donating more in the future. 

“Other communities have really robust, large public finance systems of childcare,” he said. “And we’re only giving early childcare $5,000.”

The city of Glenwood Springs does have its own childcare programs through the Glenwood Springs Community Center and the Summer Youth Art Academy at the Glenwood Springs Art Center. 

Although Godes said he appreciated those programs, he thinks there could be more. 

He then stated that he did not like donating public dollars to Catholic Charities because it is a private religious organization based in Denver. 

“I think that’s problematic for me personally,” he said

Godes said he also opposes their anti-trans policies in the company. 

Councilor Shelley Kaup informed him that Catholic Charities does not use funding for anything religious, and they help a lot for the local homeless community in Glenwood Springs, and that they should receive funding for their efforts. 

The Financial Advisory Board recommended grant distribution, which was approved by City Council.
City of Glenwood Springs

This all brought up a good point for Councilor Sumner Schachter who noticed that Catholic Charities mentioned on its website that they work with Tom’s Door, which offers emergency assistance to families throughout the Roaring Fork Valley and Garfield County, Feed My Sheep feeds local homeless people and LIFT-UP feeds hungry families.

Assuming the dollars stay local, one consideration might be to have FAB recommend where the funds should be used, Schachter said. 

Councilor Mitchell Weimer suggested making categories for the funding to better clarify any overlap or gaps in funding for any groups. This, for example, could include making categories like childcare, resources for homeless people, family care and more. 

A motion to approve the grant awards by Councilor Erin Zallinski was briefly amended to approve an additional $3,780 for Great Expectations. Council approved the motion, with Godes being the only councilor who voted against the approval. 

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