“There is a lot of funding out there,” Annalisa Noble told the City Council at the December 6 City Workshop. “It is a once in a generation level of funding we have never seen before.”
Noble, who has been retained by the City as a consulting grant writer and funding strategist, made a presentation at the workshop regarding the multitude of City projects that require outside funding or partial funding.
“Chelan needs to take advantage of it. We are getting a lot of money in Washington State,” said Noble who described the City challenges as 1. – Funding Climate; 2. – Funding Strategy; and 3. – Funding Schedule.
Legislatively, the City has Affordable Housing, Lake Chelan, Chelan Youth, and Traffic and Pedestrian Safety on its list of projects.
There are 23 Priority Projects on its 2023-2027 Capital Improvements Priority list including, but not limited to; Parks Improvements, Recreation Upgrades, Community Development and Infrastructure Improvements.
“You’ve got a lot going on,” said Noble. “However, I was surprised to see wastewater and the water system at the end of your priority list. I thought that was interesting.”
Councilwoman Erin McCardle replied that the list was not the City’s priorities, but a list of projects that need prioritization. “The importance of having you here is that we haven’t prioritized that list. “We hope you can guide us.”
Councilman Tim Hollingsworth added that a number of projects are being funded through the City’s Enterprise Fund. Noble replied that all of the projects listed are great and that all of them would receive funding from different sources at different times
She added that the City is going to need new or improved infrastructure to keep up with the growth.
Councilman John Olson said that at a recent Associated Cities Convention, that there were between 40 and 500 agency personnel from different communities across the state who were getting the same message about all the funding that would be available. “What kind of competition are we facing?”
Noble replied, “You (already) have a grant writer to help you,” said Noble. She added that most of those represented were not organized and that Chelan was ready to go.
“I need to know what grants and loans you are eligible for,” said Noble. “Also a combination of both while avoiding debt.”
Olson asked about matching funds for grants and Noble replied that she worked “very upfront” regarding matches to grants so the City knows where it would stand.
She also remarked that federal money comes with federal requirements. “What are their requirements and how often do they require reports.”
“I love working with small communities,” said Noble. “I’m ready to help you guys.”
The City and Noble will be working together in early January to prioritize its projects and figure out what grants, and/or loans it will apply for.