Policy for District Community Project Funds
1. The purpose of community project grants is to fund one-time public projects deemed to be of benefit to the County of San Luis Obispo by the County Board of Supervisors. County funds may be used for the specific purpose of funding a particular project and/or event of a non-profit organization, city, school district, Board recognized advisory body and/or commission, community services district, or other qualified public agency including a County agency or department that will achieve a certain goal which is beneficial to the County. The County may not, however, make donations, pay for past events, past good works or "match funds" raised by a certain group because such donations are considered a gift of public funds and are specifically prohibited by state law.
2. Organizations must either have non-profit designation at time of grant application submission or be a public agency such as a city, school district, Board recognized advisory body and/or commission, community services district, or County agency or department.
3.The project which the County is funding may actually be only part of a project currently being carried out by a group or organization. For example, community project funds may pay for 300 meals for seniors, with additional meals being provided through a different funding source. The County's project would be the 300 meals and one "service unit" would be each meal or each senior that is served.
4. Although the cost of insurance, salaries and equipment may be a part of the project (i.e. necessary to carry out the project); community project grant funding should not be used solely to pay for insurance, salaries, or equipment to run the program. The project description should concentrate on the final outcome or benefit that the event or program will provide to the community and what will be achieved with the grant funding.
5. It is important that the project description be very specific, as it may be audited for verification that it has been carried out in accordance with the terms of the agreement with the County. Thus, for example, carrying out the "good work" of the county band is not an acceptable project. The project must be defined in terms of the number of band performances, time and dates of the performance, number of people who will benefit from the performance, cost per performance, etc. and how County residents will benefit from the project.
6. Each applicant must complete an application for community project funds. One (1) copy of the application, including a project/program budget, should be submitted to the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors will then review all grant applications and will authorize a specific level of contribution, if any, for the project. Once a funding level is determined, a contract specifying the terms and conditions for funding of the project will be sent to each agency or organization for signature.
7. Grant applications for events with specific dates must be submitted, at a minimum, 30 days in advance of the date of the event. As noted in #1 above, County funds cannot be granted for events that have already occurred. However, the Board, at its discretion, may consider, on a case by case basis, an application submitted past the 30 day deadline.
8) After a signed agreement is returned by the applicant, County Counsel will review and sign the agreement as to form legal effect. Final approval and processing of the agreement will be done according to the following guidelines:
- For funding amounts of $1,500 (per supervisor) or less:
- Signature by the County Administrative Officer, or designee, on behalf of the County;
- At a Board member's direction, placement of the agreement on the Board of Supervisors=agenda for approval
- For funding amounts of over $1,500 (per supervisor):
- Placement on the Board of Supervisors agenda for Board approval.
Monies to fund the project will be issued by the Auditor-Controller following approval of the agreement by either the County Administrative Officer (or designee), or by the Board of Supervisors.
9. In situations where the funds being requested are to pay a County Fee (e.g. rental of a County Park or building), the organization or agency requesting project funds must also complete the standard application. Following approval of the application and authorization of specific funding, monies will be transferred, via journal entry, to the appropriate department in accordance with County accounting procedures.
10. Programs or projects that receive County funds in the annual budgetary process, are not eligible to apply for district community project funds in the same fiscal year in which funds are received for the project. However, the Board, at its discretion, may consider, on a case by case basis, funding such a project from district community project funds, if an organization can demonstrate an emergency need.