Community Center, Ramona Chargers, Boys and Girls Club are grant recipients
By Joe Naiman
Ramona received some good news last week. San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved three requests for money.
One is $25,436 in federal money administered by the county for new kitchen flooring in the Ramona Community Center, and two are from the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program budget in Supervisor Dianne Jacob’s district, which includes Ramona: $24,000 to the American Youth Football League’s Ramona Chargers and $7,146 to the Ramona Branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater San Diego.
The Ramona Chargers organization plans to buy helmets and uniforms with its money, and the youth club plans to install landscaping and railings at its clubhouse in Collier Park.
Money for the kitchen flooring will come from a 2013-14 federal Community Development Block Grant. It is one of 16 projects supervisors approved for the unincorporated area for a total of $1.6 million.
CDBG projects are intended to revitalize lower-income neighborhoods. Criteria include benefit to lower-income residents, health and safety considerations, the ability to leverage block grant funds into additional revenue, and availability of alternate funding sources.
Ramona Municipal Water District owns the Ramona Community Center, which houses the Ramona Senior Center, operated through a lease agreement with the Ramona Parks and Recreation Association. Senior citizens use the center for weekday lunches and other activities.
CDBG money will pay for the majority of kitchen floor replacement costs, which is considered commensurate with senior citizen use of that part of the building. Ramona water district will provide $9,900. Of the federal money allocated to the project, $4,466 will go to the county: $3,255 for county Department of General Services management costs and $1,211, for county Department of Housing and Community Development oversight.
The kitchen floor replacement has an estimated completion date of June 2014.
Two other Ramona requests, one for $162,965 to repair the Ramona Rodeo Grounds bleachers and one for $56,000 to convert an underutilized tennis court at Collier Park into an outdoor basketball court, were deemed ineligible due to the lack of a low-income benefit. A request for Community Emergency Response Team operating equipment to benefit emergency response efforts was deemed ineligible since the purchase of the equipment is not within allowable CDBG program guidelines.
A $30,000 request to fund disaster education, emergency radios, and preparedness kits for migrant farm workers was determined to be ineligible because a national CDBG objective cannot be confirmed and there is no ability to monitor program efforts and clientele, according to a county report.
The Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grants money to nonprofit organizations for public purposes at the regional and community levels. In addition to non-profit organizations, county supervisors can fund schools and fire departments, and supervisors can also use money from their 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 budget, and the allocations must be approved by a majority of the board.
The American Youth Football League, which includes a cheer program as well as structured football competition and practice, has 140 youth players registered for next season.
Ramona Boys and Girls Club utilizes professional staff to work with youth between the ages of 5 and 18. The Ramona branch has approximately 650 members along with about 750 non-member youths, and in 2012 it served 15,040 afternoon snacks to youngsters. The railings will be for walkways and ramps at the side and rear of the clubhouse.