Soldotna City Council members convene for a work session to discuss how the city should use federal COVID-19 recovery funds on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna City Council members convene for a work session to discuss how the city should use federal COVID-19 recovery funds on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna council to review mini grant applications next week

Soldotna City Council members will convene earlier than usual Wednesday to mull over applications submitted for the city’s mini grant program.

Applications to that program, which makes $1,000 available to eligible organizations, will be reviewed by council members at a work session before the body’s regular 6 p.m. meeting.

In all, nine groups are vying for one of the two $1,000 grants available for the current cycle. Awards are limited to $1,000 per recipient per fiscal year. Applications for the current program cycle were accepted by the City of Soldotna from July 15 through Aug. 15.

Applicants for the current grant cycle include the Skyview Middle School Booster Club, the Soldotna Whalers Wrestling Club, the Soldotna High School Wrestling Booster Club, the Soldotna Library Friends, the Peninsula Period Network and the Kenai Peninsula Peace Crane Garden Trails.

Proposed use of funds ranged from the purchase of conex storage and wrestling uniforms, to a product drive and offering of a beginner sewing classes at the Soldotna Library. All groups that applied to the program requested the full $1,000 available.

Programs eligible to be funded through the grant include those designed to improve the quality of life of the community, to preserve and promote the area’s history, to provide basic human needs or to improve health services, among other things.

Programs ineligible to be funded through the grant include those that support a political candidate or issue, religious programs or events, large programs that may require years to complete or travel requests for groups or individuals, among other things.

Soldotna City Council members last year adjusted the city’s mini grant program in a way that limited which groups were eligible to apply and what kinds of programs funds could be used for. Participating organizations must, for example, have a budget of less than $100,000. Those organizations are also no longer required to be nonprofits.

The City of Soldotna’s most recent $1,000 mini grant was awarded in February to Bridges Community Resource Network, Inc. The city reimbursed the group for $1,000 worth of food gift cards purchased for the 2022 Project Homeless Connect. The annual outreach event provided resources to an estimated 122 people.

Wednesday’s full council work session and regular city council meeting can be streamed live on the city’s website at soldotna.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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