Federal mineral lease funds to help community

Newly formed district announces available grants.

By using the newly formed Federal Mineral Lease District (FML) to receive federal lease funding, a new competitive grant process has been created to provide opportunities for eligible organizations to strengthen and enhance the communities of Mesa County. The grant approach was selected because of the business-driven, community-wide economic development process that is an integral component of Mesa County’s 2011 Economic Development Plan.

            “Mesa County’s FML Board has worked hard to create a funding process that invests today’s Federal Mineral Energy Dollars into our community and local economy for a better tomorrow,” said Craig Springer, FML Board member and local business owner, “We feel fortunate to have these dollars available and want to be careful and thoughtful in how they are invested.”

            The Mesa County FML district board has received approximately $1.6 million from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs for the 2011 grant cycle. The cycle runs through the end of December 2011 and funds are available for non-profit, governmental or educational entities. “The FML kept the eligibility aspect of the grant process very wide as it realizes the importance of these kinds of groups across the social and economic spectrum in Mesa County,” says Christina Reddin who wrote the grant for the Mesa County FML District, “And as the whole process is indeed a community-developed plan, it has an end goal to use and keep these dollars right here in Mesa County.”

            After 2011, the availability of funds for future grant cycles will depend upon new statutory and regulatory developments. “We’ve created a structure in such a way that both FML dollars and Payments in Lieu of Tax dollars can benefit across our community,” adds Springer, “It is the board’s intention that our structure is acceptable on the federal level so that Mesa County is able to use this kind of ongoing funding beyond this initial year.”

            For groups interested in applying to the FML Board, they simply need to go to www.mesaFML.org to view the full grant application and see additional information. Or groups can email info@mesaFML.org for additional information on the grant program.