The City of Ketchikan’s community grants committee is asking for about $20,000 more to distribute, after increasing grant awards this year for most of the organizations — one by $17,000.
The Ketchikan City Council will consider that request during its regular meeting Thursday night.
When the 2017 city and Ketchikan Public Utilities budgets were adopted late last year, the Council appropriated about $380,000 for community agency grants. The committee met twice in January to consider applications from local nonprofit organizations.
According to a memo from committee chairman Dave Kiffer, the group voted 4-1 to recommend that the city fund 17 agencies at each group’s requested level. Those agencies have been funded in prior years, and include arts and social services groups. Most of the requests were between $1,000 and $6,000 more than their 2016 grants.
The organization with the largest recommended increase is Alaska Small Business Development Center. Its 2016 grant was $8,000. It requested $25,000 this year, and the committee recommends that level of funding from the city.
In the memo, Kiffer writes that committee members believe the 17 organizations “provide crucial services to the community at a better value than the city could provide directly.” He adds that borough grant funding for some of the groups is likely to be cut this year.
Committee members have asked that if the City Council doesn’t agree to increase grant funding, that the issue come back to the committee for further discussion.
Thursday’s Council meeting starts at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.