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Parks Board ready to start new program


Of the Keizertimes

The funding amount isn’t what was hoped for.

No matter: members of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board are ready to start their new matching grant program.

In the midst of trying to get more money for the program – which will in essence allow the Parks Board to partner with community members and double funds – board members finalized the application forms. The hope is for completed forms to start being submitted prior to monthly Parks Board meetings, which take place the second Tuesday of each month. The next meeting is on July 8.

Meetings usually start at 6 p.m. in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center, though the July meeting will take place in the McNary High School cafeteria.

With the new program, groups or organizations will submit applications to Debbie Lockhart at city hall (930 Chemawa Road) for projects and indicate what they are willing to put into the project, both in terms of materials and labor. Parks Board members will go through the applications and choose the top ones, matching funding requests.

As an example, if a group is willing to put in $500 towards cleaning up a park and the application is accepted, Parks Board members could put $500 worth in materials towards the project.

In recent years the Parks Board has had an annual fund of $20,000. This year that amount was cut to $10,000. During the Keizer City Council budget discussion, the amount was bumped up to $14,000.

“I fought really hard for $10,000 (extra) and got $4,000,” councilor Marlene Quinn told Parks Board members at this month’s meeting. “By midyear if we haven’t used the contingency fund, I will fight for the rest. This isn’t over.”

Brandon Smith, chair of the Parks Board, noted the up-and-down financial battle.

“We’ll see how the program works,” Smith said. “I would like to start doing this by the first meeting in July.”

Parks Board members unanimously approved the double-sided application form. The form asks for information such as the name of the individual or organization applying, the project director’s name, the project name, the proposed park site and if the project is identified in the current Parks Master Plan.

There is also a section asking about the estimated project start and completion date, project budget, type of project and if a recognition sign will be required. The biggest space is for a project description.

The back side of the form explains the matching grant program and lays out the rules and criteria of the program.