City divvies out cash for community organizations

With the approval of the council, the city awarded more than $146,000 to 24 nonprofit, regional outreach groups through the 2013-2014 Community Based Organization (CBO) and Homeless Programs.  

Both programs provide an opportunity for the city of Claremont to aid nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing for the needy in the local community. CBO is dedicated to building the social, economic and family infrastructure within the city of Claremont. The homeless program serves those providing shelter and aid to the chronically homeless, those without reliable shelter or on the verge of homelessness.

 Eighteen agencies will benefit from the allocated $86,650 for the CBO Program. Among those selected for funding are the Claremont After School Program, receiving $13,050, Claremont McKenna College, accepting $5700 in funding, and the Claremont Forum, collecting $1000.

Six groups providing resources to the area’s homeless will share $60,000 thanks to Homeless Program funds. Inland Valley Hope Partners received the bulk of the funding, $38,100, for its house shelter as well as its homeless assistance program. Pacific Lifeline received $7200 for programs to empower homeless women and children. The Claremont Unified School District also received $4900 earmarked for students with disabilities.

Though the decision to approve funding took but a few minutes at Tuesday’s meeting, the time it takes staff and commissioners to reach their decision did not go unnoticed. Councilmember Sam Pedroza emphasized the year-round work either reviewing applications and divvying funds or conducting evaluations to make sure the money is being used effectively.

“It does warrant some acknowledgement of the commissioners that put over 3 months and hundreds of hours in putting this together,” Mr. Pedroza recognized. “[CBO] is one of those programs that makes our city unique and different.”

 

Water remains topic of interest

Council members may have had a break this week from the closed session meetings on water, but it didn’t keep the topic from creeping up in public comment.

Chris Mann, founder of the Inland Empire Taxpayers Association, came forward along with 2 Claremont McKenna College students with concerns about the city’s desire to purchase the water system.

Mr. Mann said he was concerned with the fact that the city has not made the feasibility study available to the public and questioned whether or not the city would take its decision to a public vote before moving forward with purchasing the water system. With educational institutions hurting for money, he suggested it wouldn’t be out of the question for the city to be asked to shoulder the burden with a bond. He inquired as to what would happen should taxpayers be faced with that decision.

“It’s tough economic times and we feel the taxpayers really shouldn’t be asked to shoulder the extra burden of these 2 separate bonds,” Mr. Mann said.

Resident Freeman Allen pointed out that spending the money to purchase the water system now will help avoid continued water rate increases by Golden State Water Company in the future.

“Nothing is more essential to our future than our water,” Mr. Allen said. “If there is any case that can be made for eminent domain, it seems to me to be acquisition of our water system so we can run it for the public interest.”

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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