Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why are we rehashing things and announcing that grant deadlines have passed?

From yesterday's City Manager's report:
This is almost equivalent to saying "OMB IDENTIFIES THE SKY IS BLUE, THREE MONTHS AGO."  

One  program relates to museums - isn't ours in a complete state of limbo now and the artifacts are in boxes?  Does anyone know for sure?  We (read the City Manager) spurned an advance by the Historical Society of Palm Beach County to administer our museum due to some provincial turf issues.  It would have been great to bring their management, curatorial skills and fundraising ability to Lake Worth.  This was being discussed behind-the-scenes when former Mayor Varela was in office.  Our centennial year is a little over one year away.  This grant program requires matching funds - how is the city's "cash portfolio" doing?

Another possible grant program identified  is a matching fund program for small historic preservation projects which is administered by the state.  These are for no more than $50,000 and also require a match from the applicant.  It is also a long-standing program and should not be considered a "discovered" resource.  The city has used these monies in the past for the creation of many of our historic districts - surveys and designation reports, etc. Of the three mentioned, this is probably one that we could access, but there is no guarantee since it is a competitive statewide process.

The last one identified is a brownfield grant program.  The CRA received one of these since almost all of the CRA district, if not all, is designated a brownfield.  When I was on the CRA, we were having trouble finding use for the funds and we might have not spent all that we had available.  Nothing is changed now that would make it any different - unless we can apply it to the Park of Commerce which is out of the CRA district.

Announcing these programs now, with the current deadlines over and done with, says more about trying to find justification for a bloated OMB staff than anything else.  Thanks for the information City Manager - it seems that you might be running scared for some reason.