February 13, 2011
by John Kiljan
Planning on having a block party this summer? A community organizational meeting? The City of Arvada may be willing to help pay for it. A neighborhood cleanup project? Again, the City may willing to kick in up to three-quarters of the cost.
In a study session presentation to the Arvada City Council by City planner Linda Hoover on February 7th, the Council was given an update on its proposal to set up a Neighborhood Grant Program. It’s all a part of a broader program to revitalize older Arvada neighborhoods modeled on similar programs in other Front Range cities.
Three types of grants are expected to be offered when the program begins this summer:
* Know Your Neighbor Grants (e.g., block parties) — apply anytime with a $100 limit
* Small Revitalization Grants — scheduled applications with a $1000 limit
* Large Revitalization Grants — Council-approved applications with a $10,000 limit
Strings attached? You bet. Council members are already worried about funds being misspent or competitive awards going to established community associations that are already well versed in making grant applications.
But the City’s planning department seems to be on top of that challenge and expects to do a lot of ‘hand holding’ to help new neighborhood groups (formal or informal) apply for the grants. For larger grants, a 25% local contribution will be expected, but that can be an in-kind contribution of labor or other services by neighborhood volunteers. And, applicants should be prepared to write a short report on how well they did.
Community Development Director, Mike Elms, expects $95,000 to be available to fund the program in 2011.
The grant program offering will be citywide and the details are still being worked out, but a particular target will the pilot neighborhood revitalization area just north of Memorial Park next to City Hall. So, if you and a few of your friends want to get to know your neighbors this spring, or you want to remove graffiti from your local park, clean the trash out of the creek, or clean up an repair your bus stop benches, this may be the time to ask the City to kick in for soda pop, hot dogs, paint, brushes, nails and plywood.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The City has yet to make its presentation package to the Council available online. A formal program announcement is expected in the spring. In the meantime, the City’s contact is Linda Hoover at 720-898-7454 who has printed copies of her presentation material.
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community will post more information online on its website at http://www.ralstoncommunity.org/ as it becomes available.
John Kiljan, CLRC News: 303-423-9875 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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