Representatives from some of the nearly 500 nonprofit organizations vying for a slice of $6.2 million in grant money made their cases to the Board of Supervisors Monday as three days of annual budget hearings began.
San Diego County received 489 Community Enhancement Program applications totaling $14.5 million — far exceeding the $6.2 million available. The board began hearing pitches from nonprofit and community organizations during six hours of hearings Monday.
The grant hearings will conclude Tuesday. Supervisors will discuss and vote Wednesday on the county’s operating budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The board must decide which of the arts, social services, educational and other projects are the most deserving of enhancement program funding, which comes from hotel tax revenue. The funds are meant to promote arts and culture, economic development and create jobs.
“Although this is highly competitive, we’re happy you’re here,” Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar said.
Diane Johnson from the Borrego Art Institute was among those who made three-minute pitches Monday. Her organization is seeking a grant to advertise a festival and print materials for a fundraising appeal.
“In our small community of Borrego Springs, tourism is the main economic driver,” she said. “We believe our communities are richer when art abounds.”
Last year’s awards ranged from $1,000 to over $20,000.
–City News Service
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