Albany kicks off application process for $ 25 million grant pool


ALBANY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan described the process for community groups and others to apply for a portion of the $ 25 million the city has set aside in funding its US bailout for community investments and projects.

“Now is the time to dream big. Now is the time to dream about some programs and projects that can really help shape neighborhoods, many of which feel left out, ”Sheehan said at a press conference Thursday.

The city will start accepting pre-applications on Tuesday, January 11, but the portal is already open for applicants interested in reviewing and preparing at These pre-applications are available in several languages.

Pre-applications will be reviewed before groups are invited to submit a more in-depth application.

This review process will allow the city to connect groups who might work towards similar goals, such as expanded childcare opportunities, as well as match them with external groups who can enhance a project with external funding. .

“It’s a call to the business community, to the philanthropic community to come to the table,” said Jahkeen Hoke, co-chair of the COVID recovery task force. “We’re going to see the projects, learn more about the projects and see where you can close the gap. “

The drafts will also be reviewed to ensure that they comply with the rules of the legislation.

After a review and comments from the city, applicants will be required to complete a detailed application and be interviewed on their proposal.

Pre-applications will be graded on an ongoing basis starting next month and Sheehan said the city hopes to be able to announce awards for funded projects this spring.

The city is also looking for volunteers to help score proposals and interview applicants. Final award decisions will be made by a seven-member panel which includes Sheehan, City Treasurer Darius Shahinfar, Joint Council Chairman Corey Ellis, Joint Council pro tempore Kelly Kimbrough, Common Council Majority Leader Ginnie Farrell, Administrative Services Commissioner Rachel McEneny, and Company Advisor Marisa Franchini.

The Common Council also passed a law last year giving it oversight over any funding or spending in the US bailout.

The $ 25 million money pool is already divided into five areas of interest on the recommendation of the city’s COVID recovery task force. This is $ 4 million to support the public health response, $ 7 million for education, workforce and social services, $ 8 million for housing, transportation and revitalization community and $ 3 million each for small business support and the arts, tourism and hospitality.

Sheehan noted that some projects may overlap in more than one category. The city does not cap any of the individual awards but, on the recommendation of the task force, is looking for a limited number of programs that can have a high impact. Municipal services are also invited to apply for funding.

The city will receive the second half of its $ 80 million US bailout funding this spring. Sheehan said that while the priority for the money will be to help the city replace income lost due to the pandemic, she envisions more money going to community projects.

“I believe that at the end of the day … it will be good for the city to invest this money in a really creative, dynamic and transformative way,” she said.

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