SOLANA BEACH — By thinking out of the financial box, the city was able to fund an additional request submitted earlier this year through the Community Grant Program.
The city received applications from 12 organizations seeking more than $51,000 in financial aid from the annual program, but only $15,000 was available.
City officials chose to primarily fund organizations that helped underserved groups in the city. A representative from Santa Fe Christian School was attending a meeting during which groups seeking funding were making their pitches to council members.
He offered to help five groups serving Eden Gardens, an area the school was focusing on to provide assistance.
Santa Fe Christian donated $15,000 and in-kind offers such as volunteers, free bus transportation and meeting space to those organizations.
In the end, only three groups did not receive any financial assistance this year. One was NCRT (North Coast Repertory Theatre), which sought $3,000 for a performance to educate students and teachers at Solana Vista Elementary School about an anti-bullying campaign.
The money was needed to underwrite the expenses to develop and market the project. NCRT plans to partner with Project Anti-Bully, a national organization, to create an in-school residency program to teach students, parents, teachers and staff how to recognize and handle a bullying situation.
Councilman Dave Roberts suggested possibly using some of the approximately $90,000 from the Public Arts Advisory Commission reserve fund for the request.
In March the seven-member arts commission unanimously recommended funding the program.
Jeannine Marquie, outreach director for the theater school, said the goal is to have “some form of the program in at least one school by spring 2013.
At its Aug. 22 meeting, as part of the consent calendar, council authorized the appropriation of $3,000 from the public arts reserve account to the contribution to agencies expenditure account in the coastal business/visitors transient occupancy tax fund.
Items on the consent calendar are approved in a single action of the City Council unless pulled for discussion. This item was not removed.
“While the city has been very generous, we are still pursuing other grants,” she said. “We need about three times that much.”
Marquie said NCRT is looking for a playwright but if that is unsuccessful there are two or three shows already written that can be used.
“We will go into the schools, have the production and then talk to the kids after the show and do some role playing,” she said. “We’ll also provide a study guide for the students beforehand. It will add to the educational practices, not take away from them.”
Coast Waste Management and EDCO Waste and Recycling Services, the city’s two waste haulers, each contribute $5,000 to the Community Grants Program. The city provides the remaining funds.
Rancho Coastal Humane Society, which applied for but didn’t receive money in 2011, and It’s the Pits canine rescue received no funding this year.