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Six local organizations receive grant funds

A 5-0 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote March 2 approved the allocation of $291,000 from the District Five Neighborhood Reinvestment Program budget to nine organizations, including $212,000 for six Fallbrook and Bonsall groups.

The Fallbrook Area Visitors Bureau was allocated $50,000 to fund costs of its upcoming PB&J music event, the Bonsall Education Foundation will receive $45,000 to help restore Bonsall’s Little Old Schoolhouse, the Fallbrook Village Association was the recipient of a $35,000 grant to help cover the Mercado project and revitalization marketing, the Fallbrook Beautification Alliance will use $35,000 for its July 4 fundraising event, the Fallbrook Center of the Arts will have an additional $27,000 for expenses associated with its new artisan boutique, and Bonsall Fallbrook Little League will be provided with $20,000 for various field improvements and repairs.

The supervisors’ approval of the funding also authorized amending the purpose of nine previous grants, allowing the money for those organizations to be used for other purposes. The Reche Community Club was one of the organizations which will be allowed to use previously-awarded grant money for another purpose.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program was called the Community Projects Program before being renamed in September 2009. It was initiated in 1999 and provides each county supervisor with a discretionary budget, which is now $2 million per district, to provide grants to non-profit organizations for the furtherance of public purposes at the regional and community levels. In addition to non-profit organizations, county supervisors have also funded schools and fire departments, and some supervisors have also used money from their community projects budgets to supplement other county funding for specific county projects such as parks, roads and libraries. Each county supervisor recommends the allocation of his or her Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funds, although those allocations must be approved by a majority of the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Bill Horn recommended the District Five allocations and received the approval of all four of his colleagues on March 2.

The Fallbrook Area Visitors Bureau seeks to encourage tourism in Greater Fallbrook and provides information about local dining, nightlife, festivals, entertainment, lodging and other accommodations. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant will help cover the marketing and entertainment costs of the PB&J music event that will take place in Spring 2010.

The Bonsall Education Foundation assists in programs or projects designed to benefit Bonsall Union School District students. The Little Old Schoolhouse is in need of renovation and repairs, and the Bonsall Education Foundation is attempting to restore the schoolhouse and also to maintain its historic status through an architectural study known as the Historic Structure Report. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funding will help pay for the restoration work’s design and permit fees and will also help fund the Historic Structure Report expenses.

The Fallbrook Village Association desires economic, civic, cultural, and artistic revitalization through the acquisition, development, improvement, and operation of Fallbrook real estate.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program money will help fund the costs of the Mercado project design and implementation, signage, cleanup costs, paint, production of the revitalization newsletter, Website maintenance, and information brochure production and marketing.

The Fallbrook Beautification Alliance seeks to improve collaboration between groups dedicated to Fallbrook’s aesthetic quality. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program award will allow for the purchase of flower pot groups, will subsidize permit fees, and will help cover venue, marketing, travel, food, entertainment, professional services, and supply costs for the July 4 fundraising event.

The Fallbrook Center for the Arts seeks to expand the arts experience in Fallbrook and to establish Fallbrook as an arts destination for residents and visitors. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program allocation will help pay for engineering, electrical, construction, fixture, furnishing, supply, equipment, advertising, and signage costs to prepare for the grand opening of the new artisan boutique as well as marketing, entertainment, food, supply, and professional services costs for the grand opening festivities.

Bonsall Fallbrook Little League plays at the old Fallbrook High School field, which is used by other community groups and athletic organizations, and will soon need repairs. The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program revenue will help pay for irrigation improvements, seeding, as well as soil and grass repairs, infield improvements, dugout repairs, baseball equipment, a pitching machine and safety bases.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program budgets are funded by balances in the previous year’s general fund. Each county supervisor also has a Community Enhancement Program budget, which is funded by the Transient Occupancy Tax collected from lodging facilities in the unincorporated portion of the county. In June 2009, the Reche Community Club was allocated $3,000 to finish the senior parking area with cement and to remove a dead oak tree. The supervisors’ approval of the grant amendment will allow the Reche Community Club to use $2,000 of that funding to renovate the school house bathrooms to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

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