Capacity building grants available from Metro’s North Portland Enhancement Committee.
For nearly three decades, Metro’s North Portland community enhancement grants have helped improve neighborhoods near the now-closed St. Johns Landfill. Last year, the Metro Council unanimously approved the committee’s recommendation to distribute the remaining $1.6 million in the enhancement grant fund by 2018. Now the committee has recommended that the remaining funds be used to support a local trail project (North Portland Greenway) and investments in capacity building to strengthen programs and services to North Portland residents. This one-time grant opportunity will help community groups and organizations build their capacity to sustain long-term services and benefits.
Community organizations with past project experience located in or serving the University Park, Arbor Lodge, Portsmouth, Overlook, Cathedral Park, St. Johns or Kenton neighborhoods have the best chance of being successful. Organizations or projects that have applied for or received enhancement grants in the past are preferred.
All capacity-building proposals must be designed to meet the intent of the program and achieve at least one of the following program goals:
Write a letter of interest describing how your organization would use capacity-building support to better serve the needs of North Portland residents. Focus on improvements in management, technical and physical infrastructure, organizational development or other areas that best
build your ability to serve the community in the future. Letters will be accepted now through Sept. 3, 2013. Find detailed instructions to guide your submission and other community enhancement grant information
Letters of interest will be reviewed by Metro staff and North Portland Enhancement Grant committee members. Five or more organizations with the greatest potential will be selected to receive technical assistance in developing a full funding proposal. Technical assistance includes
one-on-one professional coaching available free of charge to selected applicants. From those proposals, the best-qualified will be selected to receive grants of $35,000-$50,000 to support their capacity-building project. The committee will consider awarding projects outside of this funding range at its discretion.
Metro Councilor Sam Chase, District 5, chairs the North Portland Enhancement Committee. Seven citizens serve on the committee, each living in and reporesenting a neighborhood in the North Portland target area.
Established in 1985 by an act of the Oregon Legislature, Metro’s North Portland enhancement grant program is a mitigation fund to compensate the community affected by the now-closed St. Johns Landfill. Funds were generated from a 50-cent surcharge imposed on each ton of garbage disposed of at the landfill. Interest generated on the fund – more than $2.2 million – has supported 465 local improvement projects that directly benefit residents or neighborhoods around the landfill.
Since 1991 when the landfill stopped receiving loads of trash, the fund lost its main source of revenues; in recent years, low interest earnings and ongoing costs to administer the fund have further reduced monies available for award.
The committee’s recommendation echoed the majority of input and advice about the future of the grant program gathered from local residents, service providers and stakeholders by the committee in the summer and fall of 2012. Others expressed disappointment about not having the fund available in the future, noting that, originally, the principal was to be protected in perpetuity.
See below the Dec. 6, 2012 Metro Council resolution including Opt In survey results.
To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.