Presenter: Tim Hogsett

Commission Agenda Item No. 3
Small Community Grant Funding
August 2004

I. Executive Summary: Make grants from the Texas Recreation and Parks Account to Texas local governments for acquisition and/or development of outdoor recreation sites from the Small Community Grants Program. As of January 31, 2004 TPWD received 26 applications requesting $1,181,556 in matching fund assistance. Staff is recommending support of 15 projects in the amount of $703,495.

II. Discussion: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department provides funding assistance for outdoor recreation facilities through the Texas Recreation and Parks Account grant program. In recent years the demand for these funds has dramatically increased, as has the competition for these limited resources. We have heard from a number of smaller Texas communities that this keen competition is a source of frustration when the local need is just for a small amount of money to provide one or two basic recreation facilities.

The Small Community Program provides 50 percent matching fund, reimbursement grants to eligible local governments of a population of 20,000 or less. The maximum amount that may be applied for per application is $50,000 ($100,000 total project), and only one application per sponsor per review cycle will be accepted. Eligible applicants include political subdivisions of the State of Texas legally responsible for providing public recreation services to their citizens. This includes cities, counties, and some other government entities.

All Small Community Grant Program applications submitted are evaluated for program eligibility and prioritized with the criteria, rating factors and points found in the "Project Priority Scoring System". The priority rank of a project depends on its score in relation to the scores of other projects under consideration.

This review includes applications from 26 sponsors requesting $1,181,556 in matching funds for all applications submitted by January 31, 2004. The projects have been scored and ranked in descending order of priority. Exhibit A contains the priority listing with funds requested by the sponsors and funds recommended by staff.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"Funding for projects listed in Exhibit A in the amount of $703,495 is approved."