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Town set to change community grant application process

Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen hopes to enact a new policy for community grants this fiscal year, implementing a set application period and deadline.

The application period every year would run from Jan. 1 to April 1.

“This needs to be very well advertised and very strictly enforced,” Mayor Ralph McGill said.

If the policy were passed this fiscal year, the deadline likely would be extended to the end of April.

“I’m glad to see this. I think most of the grant-making organizations all have deadlines and all have a timeline,” Alderman Jeff Elliott said.

Such a system would allow the Town to allocate funds to worthy organizations at one time, rather than “on the fly.”

“We’ll do it all at once rather than having it throughout the year,” Associate Town Administrator Gary Palmer said.

“This is very standard. It’s kind of the way it goes; it’s fiscal soundness,” Elliott said.

“The whole concept is only to approve the most meritorious applications rather than to entertain applications as they come, regardless of merit,” Alderman John Williams said.

“A slate of grants will be approved and that will be it for the year,” he added.

The applications would be reviewed either by Town staff or by committees to be determined by the Board.

“We would have to have some sort of scoring system,” Palmer said.

The process will be formalized and documented so the Town will not be liable for discrimination, he added.

The Board asked that limits be placed in the policy against donations to churches and faith-based organizations.

“It may be better to just not go there … you’re dodging a bullet,” Town Attorney Tom Hale said.

“We don’t have any business getting involved in that,” Alderman Bob Markli said.

The policy was only for discussion at the March 25 meeting; Town staff will return with changes for a vote at a later meeting.

In other business, the Board:

• Presented $10,000 apiece to Farragut Primary School, Farragut Intermediate School, Farragut Middle School, Farragut High School and Hardin Valley Academy

• Approved Ordinance 10-03, to eliminate final approval requirements for commercial and office co-ownership developments

• Approved Ordinance 10-07, an amendment to fiscal year 2010 budget

• Heard from the Town’s Education Relations Committee chairman, Margaret Johns, who asked for the Town’s support for a planned paper drive. The group will reappear before the Board at the end of April during budget planning.


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