Solana Beach council plays Santa with community grant awards

The Solana Beach City Council, in an early Christmas present for nine local nonprofit groups, was able to fund all of the requests it received through the city’s annual community grant program.

“That is a super rare event,” said Mayor Mike Nichols, after the council voted unanimously to fund the entire list of $41,900 in grant requests. In past years, said council members, the requests outstripped available funds, and the council had to grapple with which applications to approve.

The discussion and vote took place at the City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14.

According to a staff report, the community grant program was launched in 2004. In the current budget year, $25,000 was allocated, which included $10,000 in contributions from trash haulers EDCO and Waste Management.

An additional $15,000 was provided by Santa Fe Christian Schools, with the proviso that its funds be earmarked for organizations that provide assistance to residents of Eden Gardens.

The final $1,900 needed to fully fund this year’s grant requests came from the city’s public arts fund.

The groups funded by this year’s grants, and the amounts, were: Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito, $3,000; Boys and Girls Club of San Dieguito, $5,000; Casa de Amistad, $5,000; Community Resource Center, $5,000; North Coast Repertory Theatre, $5,000; North County Immigration & Citizenship Center, $4,900; Reality Changers, $5,000; Solana Beach PTA, $5,000; St. James and St. Leo Medical and Dental Program, $4,000.

Among the criteria for the grants is that the group must be a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that serves the Solana Beach community. The maximum grant under the program is $5,000.