Solana Beach council to increase contribution to community grant program

Solana Beach City Hall
(Staff file photo)

Solana Beach City Council members voted March 8 to increase the funding for a community grant program that allocates money to multiple local nonprofits and other organizations every year.

The city has historically capped its contribution toward the program at $10,000, in addition to $15,000 from EDCO. The council divides the $25,000 each year among the organizations that apply, with a maximum grant of $5,000 per recipient.

The council wants to begin contributing $20,000 to the program, for a total of $35,000 with EDCO’s portion, and will consider boosting the maximum grant amount to $6,000 per recipient.

“If you ignore the Great Recession, both the current allocation that the city puts in of $10,000 and the maximum grant award haven’t changed from at least 2007, that’s as far back as you can look,” Solana Beach Deputy Mayor David Zito said. “Since then, if you account for inflation, you’re talking about at least 30-40% inflation since that period.”

Local organizations that received funding during last year’s grant cycle included the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, Casa De Amistad, La Colonia Community Foundation, and the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society.

According to the city, the criteria for evaluating the applications includes: the organizations have to be nonprofits or other community organizations that serve Solana Beach; “fair and justifiable” program costs that are outlined in a budget; whether it uses matching funds or other resources; whether projects are “new and unique to the community or which provide a new or unique twist on an existing program”; and, for the upcoming fiscal year, the proposed project has to have a completion date before May 31, 2024.

The city plans to issue a request for proposals on April 27, with a May 25 deadline for organizations to respond with their proposals and amount they’re requesting. Council members will hold an initial review of the applications on June 14, then vote on which grants to approve two weeks later.