ELOY — Organizers of community events will have to go through a more formal process when requesting funding from the city.
The Community Funding Event Program will provide the city with a detailed account of how organizations use the money that they have requested.
Organizers will have to fill out paperwork to apply for funding and a selection committee will review the applications to see if all the eligibility criteria are met.
“If they meet the basic requirements, we’ll come to (City) Council,” Management Assistant Jillian Childress said. “They’ll present their information as they have in the past at a council meeting and then council will make a decision and administrative staff will let them know what their status is.”
Beginning in the next fiscal year, the city is set to provide a total of $10,000 for special community events. Organizations and groups will be limited to one application per fiscal year.
The eligibility requirements are that the event must take place within the city of Eloy, and it must occur between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.
The event must also align with the city’s funding program mission, which is to strengthen economic vitality and foster community spirit.
“Staff would review all applications to make sure that the application is filled out completely and accurately,” Childress said. “The application does have some qualitative questions, some essay questions, that council will have the opportunity to review to make sure that it’s in line with the funding program as designed and approved by council.”
As for the funding criteria and disbursement, Childress provided the council with various options such as having a specific limit on how much funding an organization can receive or giving a range that the organization cannot exceed, or no more than 50% of the event’s cost.
“I like option two but I would like to put some type of money there,” Councilman Andrew Rodriguez said. “Like an organization cannot request more than $10,000 and if we feel that they need more, we can take that out of our contingency. I think if we put a number there, it’ll stand out better for the organizations because right now they just put whatever they want on the paperwork.”
Councilman Dan Snyder added that he would like to see the 50% limit kept in the documentation because he doesn’t want organizations to rely solely on the city.
“I have seen in the past some organizations that tend to rely too heavily on the city for their events to succeed,” Snyder said. “I’d like to see them become a little more active with sponsors and things like that. We’ll still continue to support them, but have them become a little more responsible in their fundraising as well.”
Councilman J.W. Tidwell brought up the topic of in-kind services and how he would like to see a dollar amount incorporated into the cost.
“They come in and ask for $2,000 help and then turn around and cost the city $3,000 in in-kind services,” Tidwell said. “So for me that’s a $5,000 grant whether we pay the $3,000 to them or to the police officer that’s on duty or the road barrier people. So it starts out as only $2,000 but when the event is over with, it’s $5,000 or $6,000.”
For disbursement the options included giving the organization the full funding immediately upon council approval or providing half of the amount on July 30, 2020, which is the beginning of the fiscal year, and the rest of the funding 90 days before the event.
Snyder pointed out that he didn’t like the timing of option two being at the end of July and that it was too far out for some events. Instead he would like to see the money disbursed in increments of 90 days before the event and then 30 days.
A third option is to provide 50% of the funding once the 90-day event report has been received and reviewed and the rest disbursed once all the contract requirements are fulfilled.
Councilman Georges Reuter was concerned about not having a cancellation policy that would require the organization to pay back the money that was disbursed.
Reuter added that he would like to see invoices of payments that organizers are making to ensure that the event is progressing along and that the money the city is provided is being spent for what was requested.
Childress will meet with the organizations to walk them through the application process once it is implemented.