Neighborhood Enhancement Grant

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Overview


The Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program was created to help fund neighborhood improvement projects conducted by established, approved organizations with a desire to help make Springfield Township neighborhoods better places to live, work, and play. The program, administered by the Springfield Township Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), is designed to achieve four primary goals:

• To assist neighborhood or business associations and groups in determining priorities and making improvements in their communities.

• To facilitate community involvement and civic participation through neighborhood-based projects which improve the quality of life for residents.

• To maximize community resources in order to revitalize Springfield Township neighborhoods.

• To develop lasting partnerships between the Township, community and business groups involving projects that improve neighborhoods, positively impact property values and benefit residents.

Similar to most grant programs, the Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program provides funding only to specific types of organizations. Since the Community Improvement Corporation desires to improve neighborhoods and business districts, this program is designed to support that purpose. Realizing that there are many groups that do contribute to improving the quality of life in neighborhoods, ineligible organizations are encouraged to partner with those groups that meet the eligibility criteria. The eligible organization must be the lead entity in project planning and implementation. The three categories of eligibility are Neighborhood Based Associations, Neighborhood Affiliated Groups and Business Associations.


  1. Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Application

    The 2016 grant application is open until May 15, 2016. View and submit the application here.

    Link to page
View Press Release on Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Here

Neighborhood Based Associations

are organizations comprised of the residents in a specifically defined area recognized as a Springfield Township neighborhood. Membership in a neighborhood based association traditionally includes all homeowners and renters within the geographical boundaries of the neighborhood. The association typically has elected officers, by-laws or other governing documents, meets regularly, establishes and collects membership dues, and sponsors community projects such as neighborhood clean-ups or beautification, festivals, and other community-wide events. These neighborhood associations address broad based issues in their neighborhood and work to improve the conditions in the neighborhood as a whole.


A neighborhood based association is eligible to apply for a Neighborhood Enhancement Grant when all of the following apply to the organization:
 
➢ Is established and has been active at least 6 months prior to application;

➢ Is created and managed by residents of the neighborhood;

➢ Is open for membership to everyone in the neighborhood;

➢ At least 75% of association members live in the neighborhood;

➢ Has duly elected board officers and established by-laws or governing documents;

➢ Holds regular meetings and maintains records and board minutes; and

➢ Has a mission to improve and accomplish identified neighborhood goals and objectives.

Neighborhood Affiliated Groups,

including but not limited to gardening clubs, athletic associations, and civic groups, are eligible for Neighborhood Enhancement Grants when all of the following apply:

➢ Is established and has been active at least 6 months prior to application;

➢ At least 75% of the group members or participants live in the neighborhood;

➢ Has duly elected board officers and established by-laws or governing documents;

➢ The proposed project promotes the greater good of the neighborhood.

Business Associations

are organized groups of businesses/business owners within a specific geographical area such as a neighborhood or business corridor that collaborates with other stakeholders to address economic development concerns and/or improve the economic vitality of the community. A business association with a mission of contributing to the improvement in the quality of life in and around Township neighborhoods is eligible to apply when all of the following apply:

➢ Is established and has been active at least 6 months prior to application;

➢ Has duly elected board officers and established by-laws or governing documents;

➢ Holds regular meetings and maintains records and board minutes; and

➢ At least 75% of association members operate businesses within the identified neighborhood or business corridor; and

➢ The proposed project addresses economic development needs of the neighborhood or business corridor and clearly benefits the area.

Ineligible Organizations


Groups that are not eligible to apply include schools, county-wide organizations, individuals or individual business owners, religious institutions and organizations, political groups, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations that are not resident-based. Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, creed, or disability are also ineligible.


Eligible Projects


Requests for funds should be based on costs associated with implementation of a single project as opposed to support for operational expenses such as salaries, rent, utility bills, HOA/property management services or ongoing operational expenses. Eligible projects are those that:

• Provide a public, neighborhood benefit;
• Make improvements and/or repairs to existing facilities;
• Develop aesthetic improvements such as landscaping, entrance signage, or lighting; and
• Involve neighborhood residents in project identification, planning, and implementation

Applicants may request funding for multiple projects meeting the above eligibility requirements. Applicants may not request funding for the same project in consecutive years, unless otherwise granted by the CIC. The continued administering of the program by the Township CIC is based on funding availability.

Process and Timeline


Neighborhood Enhancement Grant applications are administered once-a-year.

2016 Grant Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, 2016.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE ONLINE GRANT APPLICATION.
Paper applications may be picked up at the Springfield Township Administration office located at 9150 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231.

The Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program involves a two-phase approval process. Review, approval and notification may take up to 60 days.

Phase I – Initial Review


After receiving the applications, Community Improvement Corporation staff will:
• Verify organization and project eligibility;
• Review applications for clarity and completeness and follow up with applicants if necessary; and
• Present the applications to the CIC Board of Directors for formal review

Phase II – Formal Review and Selection


• The CIC Board of Directors will evaluate applications based on selection criteria below and determine approval or denial
• Staff will notify applicants of results
• Approved grantees attend orientation and sign contracts
• Organizations begin project activity (only after award letter is signed by CIC Director)

Meeting(s) With the CIC To Further The Neighborhood Impact


If the project is approved for funding by the Springfield Township Community Improvement Corporation (CIC), a meeting will be scheduled to coordinate project details with the CIC. Further goals for the neighborhood will be discussed and additional projects may be added for further neighborhood improvements.

Disbursement of Funds


Funds are available after the signed award letter is received by the applicant. Organizations must submit original invoices and/or receipts for expenditures to the Community Improvement Corporation for processing. Checks will be made payable directly to the vendor or the grantee in the case of reimbursements. Please allow at least 10 business days for processing fund requests. The CIC is contracting solely with the grantee organization. Therefore, any issues or discrepancies that may result from the hiring of contractors or private vendors must be resolved by the grantee.



Scoring Criteria

Criteria Possible Points
Matching Funds (Not Required)
•    The applicant is proposing a match and funds are ready to be expended.

10
Participation and Collaboration
•    Project has broad-based neighborhood participation (10)
•    Project is a collaboration of several organizations or groups (10)

20
Project Impact / Need
•    Provides substantial, lasting benefit to the neighborhood (10)
•    Addresses a need identified in the Township Neighborhood Master Plan (20)

30
Project Design/Planning
•    Well-planned, cost-effective, and ready to implement; shows a clear vision for sustaining the project
      and resulting improvements. (25)
•    Budget is reasonable and well documented (10)
•    Proposed project is an innovative response to a recognized issue (5)

40
TOTAL POSSIBLE POINTS
100