Last night’s Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council meeting was one of the more satisfying ones. That’s because it was the one where we decide how to allot the Community Development funds (since that’s a term that keeps cropping up, we’ll soon have an explanatory post on what CD funding is and why it’s so important).
A small volunteer group of council members met prior to the neighborhood council meeting to review funding applicants. From a list of 28 organizations with 39 separate requests for service funding, the actual recommendations were narrowed down to six. Those were decided on some basic criteria:
- Did Emerson-Garfield fund the organization last year?
- What is the organization’s stated reason for applying for funding?
- Does the organization have a physical location in our neighborhood? Or is it at least active there in some form?
- Has a representative of the organization ever attended an EGNC meeting to personally “pitch” the funding request and field questions from the public?
- Does the organization have access to additional funding sources beyond E-G’s Community Development funds?
- Will the organization’s services directly benefit residents of our neighborhood?
On the basis of those criteria, the following six organizations were put forward and later approved by all voting members of the EGNC:
- Spokane COPS (with stipulations)
- Second Harvest
- Mid City Concerns (aka Meals on Wheels)
- Corbin Senior Center
- West Central Community Center
- Community Health Association of Spokane (CHAS)
These organizations will receive letters of recommendation on behalf of the Emerson-Garfield Neighborhood Council to be granted all or part of their funding request. (In previous years, the neighborhood council used to exercise almost complete control over funding recipients, but that process has changed this year to save administrative costs.)
From a separate pot of capital funding, the EGNC allotted the following amounts for the following purposes:
- $2,600 to Corbin Senior Center for repairing a parking lot entrance and miscellaneous improvements like heat tape
- $20,000 for sidewalks — which receives 1:1 matching funds from the city, therefore a total of $40,000 will be available for sidewalk installation and repair throughout E-G in 2013
- $34,650 for home rehabilitation — which receives 3:1 matching funds from the city, therefore $103,950 will be available for initiatives like SNAP and Lead Safe Spokane throughout E-G in 2013
A representative of the City of Spokane’s Community, Housing and Human Services Department was on hand to answer our questions about funding procedures and possibilities. During the discussion about apportioning of funds, he informed us that we still have $17,000 remaining in unallocated funds for street tree removal and replanting.
New this year in the CD funding process is an additional $100,000 general pot. All neighborhoods are allowed to submit project applications for part or all of this money. After some discussion on whether or not the looming deadline (December 6) was feasible, the EGNC decided to put forward its own application for a covered bus shelter on the southbound corner of Monroe and Montgomery.
Other project ideas included a dog park, a pedestrian crossing at Grace and Monroe, and a picnic pavilion in Corbin Park. All of these were seriously considered, but voting members decided unanimously to concentrate on a single project so that it stood a better chance of being approved. It’s likely that all these ideas will be revisited in the future.
Also discussed at the meeting: recent crime hotspots, park improvements, a forthcoming mailer, and this year’s snow plow protocol. These will all be covered in a second post tomorrow (because this one’s getting awfully long).
If you are a resident of Emerson-Garfield and would like to apply for street tree planting/removal or sidewalk installation/repair, we will soon have posts that describe how to do that and that will provide the relevant forms. Please stay tuned.