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Deadline for enhancement projects is fast approaching

Community members have less than two weeks to apply for money earmarked for enhancement projects in the city.

The city council recently authorized the criteria and process for the 2008-09 Community Enhancement Program (CEP) grants.

This program is funded by a 50-cents per ton charge collected by Metro at the Forest Grove Transfer Station.

Nonprofit groups, committees or organizations interested in undertaking projects to enhance Forest Grove are encouraged to apply for a CEP grant.

Eligible projects must meet one or more of the following criteria:

• Enhance appearance and cleanliness of the area within the boundary.

• Preserve or improve natural, cultural or recreational resources for public enjoyment within the boundary.

• Improve public safety within the boundary.

• Improve transportation including pedestrian and bike routes within the boundary.

• Improve viability of commercial, industrial, and residential areas within the boundary.

If the project meets one or more of the above criteria, the following factors will be considered in the evaluation process:

• The amount of matching funds.

• The number of benefiting residents.

• Future costs associated with the project.

• The amount of public support.

Each project will be competitively ranked within the following funding categories:

1) Infrastructure

2) Social and educational

3) City promotion and tourism

4) Beautification

Forest Grove Community Enhancement Grant applications are available at city hall, 1924 Council St.

The application material is also available to download from the city's web site at http://www.forestgroveor.gov/residents/whatshappening.html.

Completed applications must be returned to city hall by March 31. All applicants will be invited to make a short presentation to the city council on April 17.

Following the presentations, the council will evaluate each of the project applications and make preliminary grant awards. The council will hold a public hearing on May 27th on the allocation of funds.

The city expects to have about $80,000 available in grant money for 2008-09. Funds are not available until mid-July after the city's budget is adopted.

For more information, call Beverly Maughan at 503-992-3234.

Beverly Maughan is the executive assistant to the Forest Grove City Manager.