Grant program fulfills wish lists

SOLANA BEACH — Normally struggling to determine which groups will get funding from the Community Grant Program — and which end up empty handed — council members at the Dec. 14 meeting, thanks to Santa Fe Christian Schools, were able to fulfill the requests of all nine applicants.

“That is a super rare event,” Mayor Nike Nichols said.

The annual program is funded with $5,000 each from Coast Waste Management and EDCO Waste and Recycling Services, the city’s two waste haulers, and $15,000 from the city.

Santa Fe Christian matched the city’s donation.

About four years ago the private school’s chief financial officer was attending a council meeting for a different issue when he heard the grant requests from various organizations and offered to help those serving Eden Gardens.

Since then the city and school have partnered to help nonprofit organizations that serve that community.

“Santa Fe Christian is a great partner,” Nichols said. “They are a great contributor. They do many things in our community and this is just one of them and we appreciate them very much.”

This year the organizations were seeking a combined total of $41,900 — $1,900 short of the available funding.

North Coast Repertory Theatre requested $5,000. Council members approved $3,100 from the grant program and recommended the shortfall be made up by the Public Arts Commission, which has funded the theater’s requests for the past few years.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, Casa de Amistad, Community Resource Center, Reality Changers and the Solana Beach PTA were each granted $5,000.

The North County Immigration & Citizens Center, St. James and St. Leo Medical and Dental Program and Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito will receive $4,900, $4,000 and $3,000, respectively.

All the groups have received money from the grant program in the past except the North County Immigration & Citizens Center, which applied for but did not receive funding in 2014.

Last year all 11 applicants were awarded funding but some did not receive the full amount requested.

Usually representatives from the organizations spend a few minutes each at a meeting to let council members know how the money will be spent. Council members come back about two weeks later with their choices and together determine the overall funding.

There are usually 15 to 20 requests for twice as much money as is available.

The informational sessions were scheduled to occur last month but the item was pulled from the agenda. Representatives from the groups were at the Dec. 14 meeting, when funding decisions were made.

“We’re in a unique situation tonight where (usually) we’ve got half as much money as (is) being requested,” Nichols said. “We actually have just about the same amount.”

“We can go through the process or we can say … we had a chance to review all these applications (and) we think they’re all worthy and in this very, very rare situation we could say, ‘Hey everybody, you got what you asked for.  Everybody’s happy. You get to go home and you don’t have to come back for another council meeting.”

“I’m familiar with all these great organizations and I would be more than happy to go ahead and make the allotment as we have … the perfect storm, the right amount of money and the right amount of applicants,” Councilwoman Ginger Marshall said.

The Community Grant Program provides funding to nonprofit, nongovernmental groups and civic or youth organizations serving Solana Beach and its residents.

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