Inyo Supervisors Review Changes to Community Project Sponsorship Program Guidelines

Area organizations relying on partial Inyo County funding for programs and events can rest easy. While there are some minor changes, including an additional $5,000 added to the competitive grants, the sponsorship program was approved at last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Even better news, the one change doesn’t impact the amount of the funding, just how it will be paid out.

Six grantees enjoy the perk of not having to apply year after year: the Inyo County Visitors’ Guide, the California High School Rodeo State Finals, the Wild Wild West Marathon, Laws Benefit Concert, Death Valley Visitors’ Guide and Images of Inyo Photo Contest. The total payout is $39,911. Fishing derbies in Bishop, Big Pine, Independence and Lone Pine each get $7,500 in funding.

The competitive grant applications get a $5,000 increase this year for a total of $34,000. The total pay-out rises to $100,000. The additional funding will be split between the Trout Opener Press Reception and Rainbow Days, sponsored by the Bishop Chamber of Commerce, and advertising for the slate of County-funded fishing derbies.

According to Jon Klusmire, organizations will be getting the full grant amount prior to the event. In the past, half the allocated funding was handed out prior to the event, with the balance paid after the event. Grantees will be required to hold onto all receipts. Linda Chapman, the assistant CAO, explained there will be an audit requirement, but on a rolling basis.

The logic is simple: to ease the pain on the smaller organizations.

Board members questioned what they saw as a lack of financial overview. “The track record of the non-profits indicates the money is well-spent,” Klusmire said. In the past, he added, organizations would turn in just enough receipts to cover the grant funding. “We don’t get all the receipts from the events,” he said.

Supervisors Rick Pucci, Matt Kingsley and Dan Totheroh got the logic behind the change. “Some of the smaller organizations may not have enough money to start the event,” Kingsley said.

Supervisor Jeff Griffiths had a different view. Chapman explained the funding applications required a written report to the Board. Griffiths wanted an oral report to the Board including the requirement that the four community fishing derbies file an official application.

In the past, the four community fishing derbies weren’t required to submit applications. Griffiths wanted that changed as well. “The public could have questions,” he said. “A small report on how the money was spent is not onerous. It seems reasonable.”

The rest of the Board members rolled over and approved the grant programing with changes.

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