Round 2 for neighborhood improvement grants

An award through the City of Covington Neighborhood Grant Program helped organizers host the Eastside Music & Soul Food Festival on Aug. 31. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Eilerman.)

Information meeting Thursday to explain tweaks to process

COVINGTON, Ky. - The City of Covington is kicking off the second round of its Neighborhood Grant Program with an information meeting Thursday to explain minor tweaks in the program guidelines that make proposed projects easier to implement.
Attendance at the hour-long meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, isn’t mandatory to apply for one of the grants, which range from $250 to $5,000, said Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith.
But groups will find the information helpful.
“During the first round, we funded a range of interesting projects that have long been on the wish lists of various neighborhood groups, but we also discovered some ways we could polish the program from the City’s end,” Smith said. “These changes will both smooth out the process and also expedite the implementation period for individual projects.”
During the first round, announced in June, the City awarded about $30,000 to fund 10 neighborhood improvement projects ranging from a Music & Soul Food Festival in Eastside to banners in Peaselburg to sidewalk planters in Latonia.
The City set aside $60,000 for two more rounds of funding during the fiscal year that began July 1, so Smith said he expected to award about $30,000 in this round as well.
The program is designed for neighborhood associations or groups. Businesses, individuals, schools, religious organizations, and others are not eligible.
The Covington City Commission is expected to sign off tonight on amended guidelines for the program’s second round as part of the Commission’s consent agenda.
The changes, Smith said, are to the administration of the grant program, not the program itself: 
  • Before applying, all groups must schedule a meeting with Smith to discuss their proposal.
  • If projects require approval from other City departments or agencies, such as a right-of-way encroachment permit, that approval must be in place before a grant agreement can be executed.
  • If an applicant doesn’t have legal standing to receive funding, another entity may serve as the fiscal agent with the City’s approval.
  • The project must benefit the public and not just the organization.
  • Expenses incurred before the grant agreement is executed will be ineligible for reimbursement. 
The amended guidelines and application can be found HERE.
The deadline for applying is 4 p.m. Oct. 7, and the winning submissions should be announced by the end of October.
Grants fall in the small ($250 to $1,500) and large ($1,501 to $5,000) categories.
City staff will score the applications using a variety of measures, including feasibility, need, local support, impact, and sustainability. The City is looking for neighborhood-oriented projects related to physical improvements, activities, or events that can be implemented quickly, rather than complex ideas that will take a lot of time to carry out, Smith said.
“Covington has many strong and active neighborhoods, and we want to partner with them,” he said.
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