Big grant application for The Big Toy project is nearly completed

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0314-COM-Big-Toy-Rendering

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

The amount on the grant application is $100,000.

At least $100,000.

Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, has been working with Jeanne Bond-Esser on the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department’s Local Government Grant for The Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park project. The grant has been pointed to since early last year as the main one to pursue for the community build play structure project, which is being built Sept. 17 to 21.

The application is due next Friday, April 4.

Project leaders will learn in July if they get the grant or not.

“The application is done, it’s just being fine tuned,” Brown said this week. “Letters of support are being gathered. Jeanne Bond-Esser has done a lion’s share of the writing.”

From the start, the talk has been of applying for $100,000. In recent weeks, there has been talk of increasing that.

“It’s a minimum of $100,000,” Brown said. “We are exploring asking for more.”

Bond-Esser, treasurer of the Keizer Parks Foundation, met with Brown and Public Works director Bill Lawyer on Wednesday morning.

“The applications are submitted online now, so we will probably not hit ‘send’ until near the deadline,” Bond-Esser said. “The grants are quite competitive, with far more requests than funding, of course.”

The issue – including the idea of upping the amount – was brought up again at Tuesday night’s monthly project fundraising meeting.

After fundraising co-chair and Marion County Commissioner Janet Carlson asked if the amount being asked for is $100,000, project general coordinator Mark Caillier responded.

“I told (Brown) last week we should consider more than $100,000,” Caillier said.

Bond-Esser said there was an issue with that.

“I talked to Bill about bumping it up to $150,000,” she said. “He said it would take a vote from the council.”

Carlson recognized the problem, when referring to the Keizer City Council meeting schedule.

“The next meeting is the 7th,” Carlson said. “That doesn’t work.”

Councilor Jim Taylor suggested having a special meeting to approve such a request.

“I mean, that’s $50,000,” Taylor said. “It will only take five minutes.”

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