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CRA Now Offers Funding For Special Events In Downtown Boynton Beach
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 20:34

Special Events Grant Application and Map

For additional information, please contact the CRA’s Special Events Director,

Kathy Biscuiti, at 561-737-3256, ext. 212, or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,

BOYNTON BEACH — The city’s community redevelopment agency faces a steady parade of groups requesting financial help with marches, rallies and concerts. Its board has decided it can’t help everyone.  It voted 7-0 at Wednesday’s meeting to establish a policy for when it gives money. It also voted to set aside $5,000 more for the rest of the 2012-2013 budget year, through September, for special event grants.

In the past, groups just asked for money for an event and, if the board approved, got it. In the new policy, a group must raise all the money up front and then apply for reimbursement, which likely will be limited to 30 percent of an event’s entire budget.  “There has to be match to our funds, so they’re (organizers) not just saying, ‘We want you to pay for our event,’” CRA Executive Director Vivian Brooks said.  “A lot of groups get dependent on us and they don’t go out and fund-raise,” she said. “If you have a good event and it’s a great idea, I think you will find sponsors.”

Board member — and incoming mayor — Jerry Taylor asked in effect, why groups have to come up with all the money and then hope to get the CRA to pony up a big chunk of it. He said groups would be asking for money they already have.  “I don’t quite understand how that works,” Taylor said.  Brooks said Friday the idea is that groups who want CRA help year after year would be encouraged have a nest egg for future events rather than pin their hopes each year on CRA help.  At Wednesday’s meeting, Vice Mayor Mack McCray, noting that other area cities have gotten in trouble for allegedly misusing CRA money, called the new policy “wise” and “a step that needs to be in place. We don’t want the city of Boynton to get a bad (sic) eye.”

Board member Mark Karageorge said at the meeting, “It is fair. It matches all our other grant policies. It is consistent with (Florida) statutes.”  And, he said, “We’re asking for a little more accountability. Which, I think, is a good thing.”  The agency already is banned from giving money for events outside a small portion of downtown, but outside groups come with hat in hand nevertheless.  “We can’t just hold special events because we like to hold special events,” Brooks told the meeting of the board, comprised of commissioners plus two outside appointees. “There has to be an economic reason that would benefit the area. And it has to be where we’re spending our money for improvements.”

 

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