Agendas and Minutes

Citizens' Budget Committee (View All)

Economic, Cultural, Tourism and Sustainability Grant Allocations

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Economic and Cultural Grant Presentations
April 6, 2011, 6:00 PM ĖPresentations from Applicants
 April 7, 2011, 6:00 PM-Proposed Allocations determined by Committee
Civic Center, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street


The Citizenís Budget Subcommittee meeting was called to order at 6:04 pm on April 7, 2010 in Council Chambers at 1175 East Main Street, Ashland Oregon.


Committee members Baldwin, Everson, Stromberg, Silbiger, Gentry, Keil, Voisin, Morris and Chapman were present.  

The Committee discussed the allocations.
Ashland New Plays Festival- Everson stated she would like to start at zero due to discrepancies in their numbers.  They have made it in the past without City help.  Majority-$2500.
Siskiyou Singers- The average was below the minimum.  Silbiger stated if the average is below minimum he would suggest zero. Majority-$2500.
St. Clair Productions-Everson suggested the average of $3350.  Gentry concerned about this organization because it is a single persons private business.  Board members have been on the board for just one year.  Feels like a personal enterprise.  Everson stated that is not a stipulation for current criteria.  Silbiger stated he appreciates St. Clair Productions in that they bring music into the valley.  Majority-$3350.
Multicultural Association of Southern Oregon-Voisin was in support because this is a community radio and the only place can get community events or news and is excited about the Emergency Alert System.  Keil stated he didnít seem to fit the criteria.  Everson stated she will support at the minimum because community radio is unique and addresses what the cultural development is.  She stated that this might be a good candidate for the Social Service Grant for the emergency service it provides.  Majority-$3000.
Chamber Music Concerts- Average was $3170.  Majority $3170.
Sustainable Valley Technology Group- Keil stated that this was the one group that he felt truly had a mission to do sustainable economic development and this City is short on all of that.  Stromberg stated that he sees this money to support organizations, and this is a big organization it feels out of scale for the others organizations the City funds.  Everson stated that being a non-profit employee she sees that the salaries are based on the work delivered. 
ScienceWorks-Average was $26,350.  Keil stated that he wanted to listen to why and how much we should give an organization that has demonstrated that they can in fact raise money.  Gentry stated that he likes the idea of investing in the exhibit and generate revenue.  He stated that he is particularly interested in funding the Capital Project for this year.  The Committee discussed the possibility of restricting the money to one or more of the categories or let them make the decision.  Chapman stated that the money should not be restricted.   Majority-$26,000
Rogue Farm Corps-Everson stated she is in support of the average of $2650.  Voisin argued for the full $4000.  Keil stated he would like to allocate $4000 as well.  Keil suggested $3000.  Majority-$3000

Ashland Historic Railroad Museum-Silbiger stated that he had them at a higher allocation before he read their outcomes.  Chapman stated that he thinks it is an important group.  The Committee discussed Railroad enthusiasts.  Chapman/Voisin m/s $7500.00.  All ayes.  Majority-$7500
Ashland Gallery Association-Average is $10,940.  Silbiger spoke in favor to this organization.  Keil discussed questions in their application.  Voisin stated she cannot support them because of their board.  Stromberg stated that this organization has been supported by the City for many years and would like to continue to support.  Keil/Chapman m/s $15,000.  Split decision, $15,000 was set as place holder. 
Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center-Gentry stated that he doesnít understand why they are asking for money to do something the City is required to do.  Keil agreed with Gentry and suggested to confront the Public Works Department and see what we can do to fund this.  If not possible than he stated he would support funding for this organization.  Voisin/Baldwin m/s to allocate $5,000  Keil questioned why the Committee is not going to go to the Public Works Department to fund this.  Silbiger answered that it is not the job for this Sub-Committee this issue can be discussed at a full Budget Committee if needed.  Chapman stated he will not be able to support this, he feels Public Works should be able to help.  Stromberg stated in response to Keils question that the reason itís not paid for out of Public Works is because if Public Works had to hire people to do this work it would cost the City a lot more money compared to having Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands do it as volunteer work.  Keil stated he feels that Public Works should be able to come up with the $5,000 to support this organization.  Everson stated that these comments should come up at the Budget Committee Meetings during the Public Works Department presentation.  Motion carries.  Chapman not in favor.  Majority-$5,000
Ashlandís Bed and Breakfast Network-Voisin questioned why this organization canít get support from the Chamber.  Since they are not she feels we should support them.  Keil stated that they could put together a good marketing plan for their industry in town but from what he saw in their application was not in support.  Voisin stated that in terms of their board they have a lot of good marketers.  Baldwin stated that he believes they leverage a lot of other economic activity besides just the Bed and Breakfast.  Everson feels like they are a bi-product of all the other things that happen in the Community.  Majority-$5850
Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon-The Committee all agreed to go with the average of $4150.
Ashland Art Center-Everson stated she is in support of this organization and feels this organization will be a fundamental piece of downtown.  Silbiger questioned this organizations development.  Stromberg stated that he is a supporter and feels this organization is striving and its worth sustaining and investing in them.  Baldwin stated his support.  Everson stated that she feels that this organization is the only one that fits all 4 categories. 
Dancing People Company-The average was $3900.  Chapman stated that there is only one Dance Company in town and it is important to support them.  Silbiger stated they wrote an exceptional report.  Everson stated she would allocate $6000.  Keil stated he would support them at $4000.  Majority-$6000.
THRIVE-Everson proposed $20,000 for THRIVE which is below the average and suggested that the City put a contingency on those organizations that donít have the IRS standard for the number of board members. THRIVE is one of those.  Keil stated that they do a lot for our community and on all accounts are doing a good job. 
Southern Oregon Film Society-There was a majority to go with the average of $26,850. 
Siskiyou Violins-Everson stated that the average was below the minimum and would propose zero.  Stromberg stated he didnít feel it was an accurate proposal.  Everson/Keil m/s zero.  Majority-zero.
Southern Oregon Repertory Singers-Everson/Stromberg m/s $2500.  Silbiger stated that the City has supported them basically at the minimum for the last five years.  All Ayes.  $2500.
Rogue Valley Symphony Association-Everson stated she supports them at the minimum.  Gentry said their organization has significantly increased.  The Committee agreed they have been doing great work.  Majority-$5000.
Rogue Opera-Chapman stated that they are unique and work a lot with the schools.  The average is $5000.  Majority-$5000.
Lithia Arts Guild-Everson suggested $5000.  Gentry stated he found it odd that if the City allocates them money they would use it to support another organization.  Everson spoke in support of them.  Voisin/Everson m/s $5000.  Majority-$5000.
Rogue Valley Farm to School-Silbiger stated that he thinks that the new groups that started last year showed themselves worthy in doing what they said they would do.  The Committee spoke in support of this organization.  Voisin/Baldwin m/s to allocate $7360.  Majority-$7360.
Ashland Car Share-Keil spoke to the similarities to Zip Cars.  Everson stated this organization is unique and innovative and feels Ashland can benefit in seeing Car Share grow.  Gentry stated he struggled with this he likes the idea and wants them to succeed but feels that might not happen.  Chapman supports the organization but didnít feel the grant was compelling.  Stromberg spoke to his support but is concerned to gas prices rising.  Voisin proposed to support them at the average.  Majority-$4000. 
Southern Oregon Land Conservancy-Chapman stated that he feels this is a great organization but had a problem with their grant application.  The Committee agreed.  Keil stated that they do deal with science and nature and feels that anything to get more people walking around the trails is a good thing.  Baldwin stated that he is in support they are doing more than just navigating a hike.  Majority-$2500.
Geos Institute-Everson proposed zero.  Silbiger stated that they didnít have the conference when they were supposed to.   The Committee felt that after the conference then they can look more at what they are doing and possibly continue to support.  Majority-zero.
Lomakatsi Restoration Project-Stromberg spoke to the impact and quality of this organization.  Itís an organization that is doing great things, and working with schools.  Keil stated he likes the organization but isnít sure that this fits under Economic, Cultural, Tourism and Sustainability. Chapman spoke in support of the organization but didnít feel that their grant application was compelling.  Majority-$5000.
Ashland Community Theater-Majority-$2500.
The Committee discussed how to allocate to reach the allotted total.  ScienceWorks had numerous sections we could make their grant a Tourism grant only.  Everson/Chapman  m/s to reduce Sustainable Valley Technology Group to the average of $8600.  All Ayes.
 Everson/Chapman m/s to reduce the Ashland Gallery Association to $11,000.  All Ayes.
Everson/Keil m/s to reduce Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands to $3428 and recommend to the full Budget Committee to find the balance of $1572 in the Public Works Department Budget. All Ayes.
Everson proposed to allocate the Southern Oregon Film societies money with $17,500 for Tourism and $9350 in Cultural.  Majority agreed.
For ScienceWorks the Committee decided to allocate $23,775 for Tourism and $2,225. 
Everson/Keil m/s approval of the allocations presented to the full Budget Committee.  All Ayes.
Everson suggested that for future a score sheet be created so that applications are scored based on review.  Applications would then be placed in order of highest score to lowest score instead of order of receipt.   She stated she would be happy to help staff come up with this.  The Committee agreed to add a score sheet to the grants.
Everson suggested that the Council consider moving the intermediate groups from the regular grant review so they can be considered the same as the Chamber and Shakespeare Festival. 
The Committee proposed that Council consider looking at the larger groups. 
Silbiger questioned if the Committee would like to see actual data instead of percentages on the Client Demographic Profile in the application.  The Committee stated they would like to try to get better information for that section.  It might be difficult for some to get this information.  Keil suggested that Council take action to establishing a working group to talk seriously about matrices for the money thatís being allocated in the Tourism, Economic Development and Cultural areas.  They Committee came to no consensus on making changes regarding actual data verses percentages and adding matrices.
Everson suggested including a logic model in the grants which shows what the program is how to accomplish goals and what the outcomes are.  The Committee agreed they would like to include a logic model.
Silbiger questioned if Everson could provide a scoring sheet for the Committee next year.  Everson stated it would be more efficient to get this to the Committee before the grants are issued. 
Silbiger stated that the IRS is changing the 990 EZ requirement from $25,000-$50,000.  He suggested that the organizations that arenít required to fill out a 990 EZ still fill one out for the grant process.  Everson is in support of this suggestion.  The Committee all agreed that next year all applicants will be required to fill out a 990 EZ even if below $50,000.  Finally, there are new rules for board members; the minimum number of members has increased to five.
Stromberg thanked Silbiger for doing a great job as Chair.
The Committee meeting was adjourned at 8:33 p.m.
Respectfully Submitted,
Melissa Huhtala
Administrative Assistant

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