The ideas and the enthusiasm are there. It's the funding that's often the missing piece.
The Municipal Association's Hometown Economic Development Grant program can help.
The 2017 program will award grants up to $25,000 each to as many as 10 cities and towns that submit winning proposals for projects that will make a positive impact on quality of life. The grant program, which began last year, also promotes and recognizes innovation in economic development practices. A key step in the application process is the council's passage of a resolution in support of the grant application.
In October, the Municipal Association awarded eight cities $25,000 grants. One winning project received a grant to cover the engineering costs for a wildlife sanctuary and discovery center, while another recipient used grant funding to create a joint main street corridor master plan and economic impact analysis for two adjoining towns.
Cities and towns that receive a grant must provide matching funds. The amount of the match is determined by population. Those selected for grants are also required to submit reports about the progress and successes of each project and provide financial details about how the grant funds were spent.
Applications for a 2017 Hometown Economic Development Grant will be accepted online beginning July 20. Grant awards will be announced no later than October 31. Look for application information at the 2017 Annual Meeting and in the weekly Uptown Update starting in August.