Carbondale trustees set to dole out community grants |

Carbondale trustees set to dole out community grants

John Colson

CARBONDALE — The town’s board of trustees Tuesday night will brace themselves for the annual round of financial requests from organizations working in the areas of human services, education, environmentalism, recreation and other causes.

The total dollar amount of the requests, from 48 organizations, comes to $170,050, according to a packet of information generated for Tuesday night’s trustee work session, scheduled for 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

The trustees, as they have for the past several years, will be limiting their total contributions to $55,000 because of the fiscal constraints imposed by more than four years of revenue declines in the town’s tax collections and other sources of funding.

But, as noted in a memo from Town Manager Jay Harrington to the trustees, some of the requests already have dedicated line items in specific sections of the proposed 2014 municipal budget, including:

• $40,000 for the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, $30,000 of that from the town’s Economic Development fund and $10,000 for administration of the town’s Revolving Loan Fund for small-business needs.

• $25,000 for Garfield Clean Energy through the Environmental Health fund. A separate request for “focused programmatic services,” to subsidize energy-efficient installations on local homes and businesses, will be discussed tonight.

• $4,500 for the Youth Zone organization, paid out of the town’s Victims Assistance Fund.

• And $25,000 for the Community Office of Resource Efficiency, from the town’s wastewater and water funds.

Another $26,350 in requests, to pay for recreation- and entertainment-related events, is to be financed separately through the town’s Recreation Sales Tax Fund. That fund has a limit of $25,000 in contributions, established by the trustees.

The $55,000 to be paid to organizations through this process was worked out several years ago. It involves the submission of a list of grant amounts drawn up by each trustee, that are supposed to get as close as possible to the amounts requested by the organization but stay within the $55,000 limit.

The amounts proposed by the trustees are then added together and the result is averaged out by the town staff.

For example, the total amounts allocated by Mayor Stacy Bernot and Trustee Frosty Merriott for payment from the general fund, arrived at separately, come to exactly $55,000 apiece, while the total allocated by Trustee John Foulkrod would be $26,000, the lowest amount calculated in the exercise. The overall total came to $46,550, more than $8,000 short of the pre-set limit for contributions.

In the recreational category, the trustees together came up with $16,521 in contributions, leaving more than $8,000 unclaimed.

The exact amounts proposed by each trustee are open for public inspection, and any amounts left over from the exercise will be discussed at the meeting Tuesday night.

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