Grants are available for beautification, tourism, development projects in Forest Grove

The Forest Grove City Council recently authorized the criteria and process for the 2007-08 Community Enhancement Program grants.

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

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

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

• Enhance appearance and cleanliness of the area within the city's Urban Growth 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 fund; the number of benefiting residents; future costs associated with the project; and the amount of public support.

Each project will be competitively ranked within the four funding categories: infrastructure; social and educational; city promotion and tourism; and 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 topics.

Completed applications must be returned to city hall by March 30, 2007. All applicants will be invited to make a short presentation to the city council on April 19.

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 29 on the allocation of funds.

The city expects to have about $84,000 available in grant money for 2007-08.

Funds will not be available until mid-July after the city's budget is adopted. For more information, call me at 503-992-3234.

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

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