Morro Bay’s City Council was in a giving mood shortly before Christmas, doling out over $51,000 to 11 non-profit groups involved in the local community.
The Council had included the grants in the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget using some $26,000 in apparently excess general fund monies and $25,344 in federal “American Rescue Plan Act,” monies. The ARPA was a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package approved by Congress and signed into law in March 2021 by President Joe Biden.
Criteria for the City’s grant program included: senior services, art and culture, climate action, diversity and inclusion, youth services, and small business support, according to a news release.
Some eight non-profits shared the take from the City budget. Morro Bay Maritime Museum got $5,000 for its Kids Cove project. Ecologistics, Inc., got $1,000 for CO2 monitoring devices. Morro Bay in Bloom, Inc., got $6,500 for its town beautification work and the Community Foundation of Estero Bay Inc., got $2,000 for youth recreation scholarships.
SCORE got $1,000 for free business marketing; and the 5 Cities DBA Diversity Coalition got $4,000 for something called “Community Diversity Education & Training Program.”
The Estero Bay Kindness Coalition got $3,000 for its Bags of Love food program with local elementary school kids and their families, and the Morro Bay Seniors Citizens, Inc., got $3,500 for a project to remodel the lobby of the Senior Center, which is located inside the City’s Community Center.
As for the ARPA monies, the Senior Nutrition Program got $7,500; By the Sea Productions got $8,344 (to support its community theater productions); and the Morro Bay Art Association got $5,000 for Art Center Morro Bay, the Association’s gallery on Main Street.
Nearly every year, the City sets aside a chunk of money in its budget to be shared among local non-profit organizations, with the priority always being those that directly provide services and assistance to local residents and families. The amount has varied over the years and in some lean times, the City allocated zero to community assistance grants.
Mayor John Headding said, “We are so pleased to be able to support our local non-profits who contribute significantly to the well-being of our community.”
Morro Bay Art Association President Patricia Newton was grateful for the City’s assistance. “The pandemic significantly impacted our ability to provide our services to the Morro Bay community,” she said. “We are thankful for this City grant, which will allow us to continue to provide art enrichment and education activities to all ages in Morro Bay.”
City Manager Scott Collins was charged with cutting the grant checks and delivering the monies over the next couple of weeks.