Loading

Manatee County Neighborhood Enhancement Grant

GRANT STATUS: FUNDING IS STILL AVAILABLE

PURPOSE

The purpose of this grant program is to strengthen neighborhood associations and the communities which they serve. Applications must demonstrate community support and involvement in both the application and implementation phases of proposed projects/programs. Manatee County’s Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program provides matching grants of up to $10,000 to neighborhoods. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis as long as funds last. Projects must be completed within 12 months of receiving funding. Grants may be awarded for any one-time improvement project, activities or events with a clear public benefit.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Homeowners associations and other resident-based groups located in Manatee County are eligible to apply. Any neighborhood group or association, crime watch groups, or non-profit group partnered with a neighborhood and working towards its enhancement located in Manatee County. Groups must be comprised of neighborhood residents and stakeholders, and the project or event must be held in the same neighborhood.

Groups are asked to register for Neighborhood Connections Magazine (www.mymanatee.org/ncm) and to create a contact for the Project Outreach Database (www.mymanatee.org/projectoutreach).

Grants are awarded up to $10,000 in matching funds for an association in a single fiscal year. Groups that have applied in previous years are eligible to apply again, however priority is awarded to new projects.

Please note: Each neighborhood can only apply and/or benefit from the grant once per fiscal year.

GRANT LEVELS

Level I: $0 - $1,000

  • No community matching required
  • Must be to neighborhood-wide public benefit

Level II: $1,001 - $10,000

  • 1-for-1 matching required for funding above $1,000
  • Must be to neighborhood-wide public benefit
  • Matching may be in raised dollars or in-kind contributions (sweat equity)

ELIGIBLE PROJECTS

The following list is suggestive, not exhaustive, of projects that may fall within the spirit of the program. Projects must be neighborhood specific.

Character: “Placemaking” through the creation or enhancement of assets that are a source of pride and neighborhood identity

  • Beautification (landscaping, art, clean-ups)
  • History (landmark restoration or other celebrations of the neighborhood’s past)
  • Appreciation programs (Yard of the Month, Neighborhood Hero)
  • Free Little Library Book Exchange
  • Social Events that bring neighbors together (block party, youth event, holiday party, etc.)

Leadership: Training neighborhood leaders or teams, and developing skills, for neighborhood governance or action

  • Communication (directory, website, newsletter)
  • Workshops or conferences (tuition support, cost of instructional materials)
  • Teambuilding experiences and exercises

Safety: Equipping the neighborhood with knowledge or tools to prevent, prepare for, confront or respond to incidences of crime, danger or disaster.

  • Educational programming on pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Community Emergency Response Team training & other disaster-preparedness exercises or resources
  • Neighborhood Watch (Start-up funds to purchase vests, flash lights, etc.)

Environment: Protecting water & energy resources, and native plants & animals (Note: That only Florida-Friendly landscaping will be considered)

  • Improving water quality in our watersheds (ditches, canals, retention ponds)
  • Removing invasive species (Brazilian Peppers, Air Potato, etc.)
  • Habitat enhancement for native animals

Health: Increasing access to nutritious diets, physical or mental fitness opportunities, or health education

  • Community gardens
  • Trails, stretching stations, playgrounds, equipment storage, meditation gardens
  • Presentations from health professionals

Please note: If you're in a gated community, the only projects your community would be eligible for is 1) invasive species removal, or 2) any projects that are outside of the gates (typically, landscaping and/or neighborhood sign replacements/repairs).

INELIGIBLE PROJECTS

The following is a sample list of projects/programs that would not be eligible for funding:

  • Alcohol, tobacco or controlled substances.
  • Beverages and food
  • Capital items (individual items that would require tracking by County property control, excluding signage/surveillance camera equipment)
  • Computer hardware/software and other electronic devices and related equipment
  • Daily operating expenses and maintenance
  • Duplication of an existing public or private program
  • Expenditures or financial commitments made before the organization has signed the funding agreement
  • Fines, penalties and associated costs
  • Food/drink for festivals/celebrations
  • Funding for organizations located outside of Manatee County
  • Fundraising, investment management cost or employee salaries and other associated cost
  • Gift cards/gifts
  • Home improvements
  • Interior repairs or improvements
  • Lodging fees and associated costs
  • Ongoing multi-year projects
  • Ongoing or operational costs (including salaries/personnel)
  • Operating expenses not directly related to the awarded project
  • Private transportation expenses including mileage, gas, insurance, car rentals, etc.
  • Projects typically funded under other sources such as County (or City) department operating budgets, Capital Improvement Program, Community Development Block Grant Program
  • Projects which conflict with existing County plans/policies
  • Projects/programs already funded from another source (including current operating budgets)
  • Projects/programs that have already been completed
  • Salaries for administration
  • To replace funding lost from other funding sources
  • Trophies and awards and associated cost

NEED PROJECT IDEAS? TAKE A LOOK AT OUR PAST WINNERS.

Gillette Grove// Playground - Installation of new playground area.

Habitat for Humanity// Neighborhood Voices Resident Leadership Course - Community based leadership programs develop individual skill sets and support the development of emerging leaders through a series of seminars, workshops, and local projects.

Harbour Oaks Homeowners Association// Harbour Oaks Beautification Project - Landscaping project for entryway.

Memphis Neighborhood Association// Connect Memphis - Creation of a web site, newsletter, social media, and neighborhood directory.

Parkway Villas Condominium Association// Landscape enhancement project for entryway.

Samoset Neighborhood Association// Samoset News - Installation of marquees to notify residents of important news, upcoming meetings and events.

The Trails// Entrance lighting - Install lighting around entryway.

Washington Gardens// Neighborhood welcome signs - Creation and installation of neighborhood entryway signage.

Waterlefe Community Development District// Waterlefe Boulevard Landscape - Landscaping project for entryway.

WHAT'S DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?

  • Great news! The grant application deadline is now on a rolling basis. It means that as long as funding is available, neighborhoods/organizations can apply for the grant year-round.
  • Once all the funding has been allocated, a notice will be placed on this site and the grant will be closed until the next fiscal year (pending grant funding).
  • Easier application! If you previously applied for the grant, there was a lot of documentation needed. That paperwork is still needed, but staff would like to walk grant applicants through the process step-by-step to make sure their project idea adheres to the purposes and goals in the NEG ordinance.

THE PROCESS

  1. Initial application. Submit the initial application below.
  2. Site visit. County staff will visit the neighborhood to learn more about the project and to visit the project site. Once the project is deemed eligible, the NEG Packet will be given to neighborhood representative for completion.
  3. Submit paperwork. The neighborhood will forward their: W9, meeting minutes, 3 bids, budget, and volunteer form (if applicable) to simone.peterson@mymanatee.org
  4. Review. The NEG committee will review the application. If approved, it will be scheduled to be on the next available Board of County Commissioner's meeting agenda.
  5. BOCC approval. At the Board of County Commissioners meeting, the Board will approve/reject the agenda item.
  6. Sign agreement. Staff will contact the agency to sign the reimbursement agreement.
  7. Complete the work. The neighborhood will have a year from the signature date of the reimbursement agreement to complete the project.

READY TO APPLY?

Remember, there is no deadline to apply for the grant, but first come, first serve until grant funding runs out.

After the application has been submitted, staff will be in contact to set up a site visit.

QUESTIONS

Please contact the Neighborhood Connections Division at 941-749-3030 x6818 or email neighborhoodconnections@mymanatee.org