$21K requested of GarCo in 3rd quarter discretionary funds

Alex Zorn

Solar Rollers instructors Maciej Mrotek and Jayvin Krysch, right, work with one of the student teams and their teacher in preparation for the Shams Dubai Solar Rollers Trophy Race, held Oct. 22 at the Dubai Autodrome.

2018 3rd quarter discretionary fund requests

Glenwood’s Downtown Market - $2,500

West Slope Water Protection - $1,000 per year for the next three years

Energetics Education (Solar Rollers) program - $5,000

Mount Sopris Nordic Council - $5,000

Rifle’s Hometown Holiday - $5,000

Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra Program - $2,500

Six local organizations went before Garfield County commissioners on Monday looking for anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 in discretionary funding grants.

With only $33,500 left of the $100,000 budgeted for discretionary awards in 2018, the county commissioners would be left with just $12,500 for the final quarter should all of the third-quarter grant requests be approved.

County Manager Kevin Batchelder said it is within the commissioners’ discretion to award or not award the grants to those that made the requests.

In the last two years the county has run out of its $100,000 budgeted for discretionary grants by the fourth quarter. And in both 2016 and 2017 the commissioners elected not to add more to the budget.

Batchelder said he did not expect the commissioners to add more for the fourth quarter this time, either.

Among the organizations looking for grant money this quarter is the Colorado Rural Water Association, which protects community drinking water supplies. Its hope is to launch a regional public awareness campaign using user-friendly materials explaining how their actions affect the water supply.

The Association is partnering with Keep It Clean out of Boulder to help educate the public on its message. The money will be used for promotion materials, bilingual pamphlets and more.

“By protecting your water resources, you are also protecting your drinking water,” Colorado Rural Water Association Source Water Protection Specialist Paul Hempel said at the Monday hearing.

The organization hopes to receive $1,000 from the county for the next three years. The project also has received sponsorship from Pitkin County, Eagle County, the White River National Forest, and others.

Carbondale-based Energetic Education’s Solar Rollers program was next up in front of the commissioners. The program works with high school students to design and build solar-powered radio-controlled cars.

“We ran the program last year in Colorado, Texas and Dubai, and that was quite an experience,” founder Noah Davis told the commissioners. “Colorado is our biggest league. We had 36 teams last year… We get more every year in every league we run.”

Recently, the program was sponsored by electric automobile maker Tesla to expand the program to Nevada public schools.

Davis asked the commissioners for $5,000 for seven teams currently in Garfield County that he hopes will compete at the big race in Denver.

“We’re very excited about Colorado growth,” he added.

He said the $5,000 will allow the program to work directly with every high school in Garfield County.

Other entities looking for discretionary funds included Rifle’s Hometown Holidays celebration, the Mount Sopris Nordic Council, operators of the Spring Gulch Nordic trail system west of Carbondale, and the Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra.

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