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Council to allocate $2.3M to nonprofits, consider development meeting requirements
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Council to allocate $2.3M to nonprofits, consider development meeting requirements

Only $5 for 5 months
City Council work session

City Council held a virtual work session to discuss nonprofit funding on June 30.

Charlottesville City Council is ready to dole out about $2.3 million to area nonprofits and set guidelines for community meetings as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The council will allocate the money in the Vibrant Community Fund during its meeting Monday.

The fund is the new iteration of the former Agency Budget Review Team process that the city uses to determine how it contributes money to nonprofits. About $2.3 million was available through the process for fiscal 2021.

The city has been revising the process since 2018 and scored applications through a funding matrix focusing on the services provided and the quality of applications.

Earlier this year, the council decided to fund certain programs at different levels based on where they fell within the scoring matrix. None of the applications would receive total funding.

A majority of the money will go to 22 programs funded at 90% of their request for $1.37 million. Eleven projects were funded at 50% for $277,340 and 11 projects were funded at 60% for $410,100. Eleven arts and culture programs will receive 75% of their request for a total of $118,779.

The process was derailed because of the pandemic, and last month, the council held a work session to go over revised applications that focus on how the pandemic has affected services and how nonprofits are adapting to a new way of life.

The largest sum is going to the Child Health Partnership, which will receive $310,847 for its Home Visiting Collaborative. Other six-figure recipients are Offender Aid and Restoration, with $293,392; Shelter for Help in Emergency, at $202,500; Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless, with $130,500; and Piedmont Housing Alliance, at $128,201.

In other business, the council will consider regulations on community meetings related to land-use applications.

Development applications that weren’t submitted before the coronavirus pandemic started moving through the review process earlier this summer. The city recently started accepting applications that only required administrative review, but not proposals that needed a community meeting as part of the approval process because parameters for those meetings hadn’t been approved.

The Department of Neighborhood Development Services has proposed several regulations to govern how the meetings must be held.

For rezonings and special-use permits, applicants must hold a virtual community meeting and allow people to provide comments electronically or by mail. Mail-in comments must be accepted for a minimum of 45 days from when neighbors were notified of the project.

Virtual meetings must be recorded and available free of charge for video or telephone participation and the software must allow applicants to share site plans, illustrations and other documents.

Participants will be given at least three minutes to ask questions or provide comments during the meeting.

The proposed regulations also require that meetings are scheduled outside of business hours, preferably between 5:30 and 8 p.m.

For site plan conferences, applicants must hold a similar level of public meeting, but only have to accept written comments for 30 days.

To view the proposal, visit tinyurl.com/NDSguidelines.

The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday. To register to participate, visit charlottesville.gov/zoom.

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City hall reporter

Nolan Stout is a reporter for The Daily Progress. Contact him at (434) 978-7274, nstout@dailyprogress.com, or @nstoutDP on Twitter and Facebook.

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