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Tuolumne County Approves $500K Community Grants Program With SAF Partnership

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Sonora, CA — Federal Covid-19 relief funding will help local non-profits in Tuolumne County.

The county board of supervisors gave direction to create a community grants program in partnership with the Sonora Area Foundation. It will be funded by a one-time payment of $500,000 in American Recovery Act money. There was a debate whether to have the board of supervisors later approve the final grants to the various organizations or to give the foundation the authority.

District Four Supervisor Kathleen Haff argued that since these are government dollars, there should be final approval by the board. Supervisor Jaron Brandon also indicated support for bringing it back to the board for a final vote.

District Three Supervisor David Goldemberg said he does not want the grant program to be “political” and felt the Sonora Area Foundation should make the final decision. Supervisors Ryan Campbell and Anaiah Kirk agreed that the foundation has a strong understanding of community needs, and preferred that it make the decisions.

The supervisors did, collectively, agree to have a presentation at a future board meeting about which organizations are selected by the foundation so that they can be “celebrated.”

It was noted that the payments will still be processed through the county government for auditing reasons.

In addition, the board directed the foundation to allow for two of the grants to be for $50,000 and the others to cap out at $20,000.

We also reported yesterday on a separate COVID relief program that will allow people to purchase e-gift cards to local businesses. They are both designed to help entities who were negatively impacted by the pandemic.  Click here to read the earlier story.