Council approves city grant program

In response to periodic requests for fee waivers and financial support, the Sweet Home City Council created a new grant program during its regular meeting on June 23.

The Administration and Finance Committee developed the program, which includes $5,000 in funds, and recommended the council approve the program to address those requests in a fair, consistent and timely manner, City Manager Craig Martin said.

“Most recently, the driving force was the (high school sports) Booster Club for assistance with concessions,” Martin said. The council also has received similar requests from scouting groups.

The Booster Club sought to have permit fees waived for the construction of a new concessions stand at Husky Field earlier this year.

When the Booster Club, which was looking for an estimated $300 in waived fees, appeared before the council, Martin said, “(council members) said ‘we want to come up with a different way.'”

The fees represent the cost of the city’s building program, although the fee and the program are covered by of the general fund, Martin said.

“The grants program was established to provide an opportunity for not-for-profit groups to seek assistance from the city based on criteria that were developed,” Martin said.

Among the criteria, grant applications should show a documented benefit to the residents of Sweet Home, Martin said, and it must comply with government regulations.

Only one award will be considered per organization, he said.

Generally, grant applications will not be considered for individuals, political organizations, travel outside of Sweet Home, for-profit ventures, endowments, budget deficits incurred prior to application, routine expenses and groups already receiving city funding or direct support.

Applications should encourage creation, revitalization and improvement of community spaces; enhance or improve educational, athletic or social activities for community youth; support or enhance community-based special events or programs; promote tourism or attract visitors to Sweet Home; support established city goals; attract positive coverage in local, regional and national media; reach a broad segment of the community; provide seed money for innovative programs that related to previously mentioned criteria; use multiple sources of support rather than the city as a single funding source; promote cooperation among event organizers to reduce cost; and enhance or improve the community.

Grants will be awarded in two funding cycles, with 10 $250 grants each, Martin said. Following evaluation, the number of grants could change.

For more information, contact City Hall at 367-8969 or 1140 12th Ave.

In other business, the council:

– Authorized end-of-the-year budget transfers and approved the city’s 2009-10 budget.

– Approved road and park closure plans for the Oregon Jamboree, waivers and permits for the 2009 event, July 31 to Aug. 2.

– Approved an ordinance repealing the sunset clause in the city’s Texas Hold ‘Em ordinance, allowing commercial establishments to continue running tournaments with a license.

– Held the second reading of a fence ordinance update.

– Held the second reading of an ordinance pertaining to recycling at multi-family housing with more than five units.