The City regrets to announce the cancellation of the community grant program effective in 2016 as the result of general fund operating budget constraints.
The City has supported the community by providing financial and/or staff resources to non-governmental organizations for special projects that supplement municipal government operations and enhance quality of life. For example, over twenty non-profit organizations received funds totaling nearly $30,000 during 2015 and nearly $68,000 in 2014 from the City’s general fund operating budget.
In August, the City announced that the 2016 application deadline was tentatively extended to October 31 and stated the program could be discontinued or scaled back. The passage of Ordinance 2015-16 briefly appeared to have resolved the question of available funding for current operations, which include this grant program. A pending citizen referendum prevents Ordinance 2015-16 from becoming effective.
Those following the City’s financial reports may question why this step is being taken in light of positive sales tax trends. The program relies on unrestricted funding. New restrictions that require a larger portion of the City’s sales tax revenue for capital projects has shifted funds away from certain areas of the City’s operations. Those City operations are considered basic municipal services and the governing body has not reduced funding for those services or identified other sources of funding to maintain them. This has led to the decision to make cutbacks elsewhere in the operating budget, and those cuts include the community grant program.
More information is included in this August 2015 post.