New Castle awards thousands in grant dollars to local nonprofits

Volunteers sort through tables full of donated clothing at the River Center in New Castle during its clothing distribution drive. The town awarded the nonprofit organization $11,000 in grant funding.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The town of New Castle recently awarded over $22,000 worth of grant funding to 12 local organizations.

Town Administrator David Reynolds said the town budgeted $26,000 for grants in 2020 with the first round being awarded at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Councilors largely followed city staff’s grant recommendations by allocating $22,450 to organizations ranging from the River Center in New Castle to the Rifle Animal Shelter.

“Every year when we do this I feel really bad that we can’t put more money into this,” Councilor Bruce Leland said. “There are groups here that do really important work for us that we couldn’t do ourselves.”

The River Center was awarded the majority of grant funds in the amount of $11,000. The nonprofit organization hosts several community outreach efforts including Meal Monkey, which provides 85-90 sack lunches to children in New Castle and Silt weekly.

Additionally, the River Center collected over 1,200 pounds of winter clothing that was distributed earlier this year.

Commending the local nonprofit’s dedication to the community since 2010, New Castle Mayor Art Riddile had no problem honoring the River Center’s full grant request.

“The River Center is an incredible organization that does so much for the town of New Castle,” Riddile said. “I have no problem with $11,000 going to the River Center.”

In addition to the River Center, councilors agreed to fund Talbott Enterprises’ full $3,000 grant request.

Talbot Enterprises has hosted a family-friendly, Fourth of July celebration for the last 44 years in Apple Tree Park in New Castle. The $3,000 grant will help offset the cost of the 2020 fireworks display.

“We require follow-up reporting,” Reynolds said of the grant recipients. “So we’re not just putting money out there without some sort of report back.”

While council largely agreed with the grant recommendations put forth by staff, Councilor Graham Riddile advocated for more grant dollars going toward River Bridge, which provides collaborative services to child abuse victims in a supportive environment.

The nonprofit organization requested $2,000 and staff had recommended awarding $500.

“What they do, I think it’s something that people don’t talk about,” Graham Riddile said. “It clearly is an issue that they’re addressing.”

Agreeing with Riddile, council decided to award River Bridge their full $2,000 grant request.

Having allocated $22,450 during its first grant cycle, council will have $3,550 left to award in summer 2020.

Complete Grant Recipient List

Advocate Safehouse $500

Alpine Legal Services $500

Community Counts $150

High Country RSVP $350

Rifle Animal Shelter $1,500

River Bridge $2,000

River Center $11,000

Talbott Enterprises, Inc. $3,000

West Elk Trails, Inc. $250

Western Slope Veterans Coalition $500

YouthZone $2,500

Spellebration $200

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