Placer County gives $7,500 to community groups | SierraSun.com

Placer County gives $7,500 to community groups

Julie Brown
Sierra Sun

The Placer County Board of Supervisors set aside $7,500 at its meeting last week for a handful of local groups that all have one thing in common ” giving back to the community.

The Friends of the Kings Beach Library received $1,000 to purchase educational books and DVDs about the region to boost their Tahoe Bookshelf.

The North Tahoe Public Utility District received the same amount to reimburse them for purchasing new holiday lights last year that put a whole new shine on the community’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

“[The old lights] were put on a long, long time ago,” said Executive Assistant Pam LeFrancois. “And the tree has outgrown the lights … This year when the trees lit up, it was awesome. It was just really bright and colorful.”

Creciendo Unidos received $1,000 to support its third-annual Mexican Independence Day Celebration, an event that exposes the Mexican culture to the community in an alcohol-free environment and gives local residents an opportunity to sell their home-cooked specialties.

“It was more of the entertainment that cost the most,” said Emilio Vaca, who emptied a bit of his pocket to help fund last year’s event. The revenue-sharing money, he said “will definitely help out with some of those costs.”

The Tahoe Truckee Community Scholarship Committee, Snowfest! and several other groups on the western slop of Supervisorial District 5 also received chunks of cash as part of the Placer County Revenue Sharing program.

“The one thing that we really look for is a public benefit that’s non-exclusive and that’s really going to benefit the public at large,” said Russell Poulson, a member of the District 5 Benefit Committee that reviewed the applications for the board of supervisors. “That there be some sort of auxiliary benefit to the community. Not just to one specific group.”

The District 5 region in Placer County has $20,000 of revenue sharing funds to distribute this year. Less than half of the funds were allotted in this round, and Poulson said the committee will be reviewing more applications to distribute the rest of the money.

“There’s a lot of charities out there,” Poulson said. “A lot of good things going on.”

Placer County District 5 Supervisor Bruce Kranz said he appointed the benefit committee to oversee the revenue-sharing funds because he didn’t feel it was his role as a county supervisor “to hand out goodies to the people in the county.”

“I felt that was the best way to [distribute the funds] because that took me out of the decision-making process,” Kranz said.

Only one application reviewed by the committee was denied their entire request for funding. The North Tahoe Citizen Action Alliance requested money to rent meeting rooms. They were denied because there are meeting rooms available to such groups without charge, Poulson said.

Friends of Foresthill Trails also received a cut in their request for funding. The committee allotted the group $500, instead of the request $1,000, because it didn’t need as much as it was asking for, Poulson said.