$227,000 for Naperville Ribfest now waits to have a purpose, as the festival moves to Romeoville next year.
The Special Events and Cultural Amenities, or SECA, Commission, recently discussed how to best reallocate those funds.
“But I think what we want to do is leverage the funding that we have available to implement the changes in who actually comes in with applications or what kind of programs or events come in,” said Chairman Melvin Kim.
Finding a Focus
The group discussed how to best focus the grant money, by being fair to previous applicants yet still draw in new events and initiatives.
“I would promote that [either] it’s a totally new initiative, which we know we get very few, or existing recipients who are going to expand a program that we enjoy so that we can see a rational to giving them more money to continue to grow their program,” explained Commissioner Rick Grimes.
The commission ultimately approved setting one-third of funds to new initiatives, one third to fulfill requests that lack funding, as well as one-third to expanding current programs and events.
The SECA fund comes from the 1% citywide food and beverage tax.
The group plans to discuss further details on that vote at their next meeting.
And the commission has another set of funds to reallocate this year.
$70,000 sits on the table from Christkindlmarket leaving Naper Settlement this winter.
$15,000 of that sum will pay for police, fire, and public works services for the WGN Block Party. That leaves $55,000 for the commission to look at with three options.
“We have sit on it and let it go to 2021,” said Kim. “We have a city service option in whatever form that may be, and we have a let’s go revisit and find an organization that we would want to allocate it to. Now if we go down that road that would open up that door of however many doors.”
One of the organizations that grant money could go to is the Little Friends Parade of Lights.
Jason Altenbern from Little Friends proposed the idea at the meeting, asking for $25,000. While it was well received, the commission felt it might not be fair to make the decision right away, before revisiting other organizations if they choose to go down that path.
The commission pushed their final decision to their next meeting, which has yet to be scheduled.
SECA’s final recommendation will advise Naperville City Council members how to use the funds.
And for full disclosure, NCTV17 is partially funded by a grant from SECA.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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