The Orem City Council this week unanimously voted to amend the policies and procedures for the funding of recreational and cultural facilities and cultural organizations.
The funding for Community Arts and Recreation comes from an additional tax, known as the CARE tax, of one cent on each $10 of sales tax revenue that comes to the city.
The amendment agreed by the council allows for the creation of a mid-major CARE group. Until Tuesday, groups and organizations were only able to apply for mini-grants and for large grants.
"The city council is always looking for ways to use the CARE tax to have the greatest impact in our community," said Steven Downs, CARE administrator.
Qualifying organizations for mini-grants are able to receive up to $4,999 to help fund events and programs. Major grants have been as large as $600,000, and carry specific and detailed regulations for qualification.
Applications for mini-grants have grown in number the past few years. In 2015, the total amount requested for mini-grants was $73,463. The total awarded by the city was approximately $56,494. That means the average mini-grant delivered $367 less per organization than in 2014.
Awards for the large grant organizations were lowered by 4 percent in 2015 compared to 2014. Large grant organizations include the SCERA Center for the Arts, Hale Center Theater Orem and the Utah Regional Ballet.
The new mid-major group will allow organizations that would otherwise qualify for a mini-grant, but have an active 501c3 designation, to qualify for a grant between $5,000 and $9,999. The change also moves the lower parameter of a major grant from $5,000 to $10,000.
Other amendment changes were made to reflect changes to state code as well as eliminate restrictive language used to define the various disciplines allowed to be funded with CARE dollars.
According to Downs, applications are now available for all CARE grants. The deadline for application is March 10.