Keller Fund Receives Record Number of Applications

The largest number of applicants for the Keller Canyon Canyon Landfill Mitigation Fund coupled with a lower amount of garbage made Supervisor Federal
Glover’s frown lines form on his forehead.

“This was the toughest year to decide who should receive grants,” said Glover, who administers the fund based on the amount of tonnage deposited in the Keller landfill.

The Board of Supervisors approved the appropriations of Keller fund this morning, (Tuesday, Oct. 11) during its meeting in Martinez. There were 130 applications this year compared to 100 last year. In previous years, the grants were awarded to about 85 to 90 percent of the applicants. This year only 30 percent of the applicants were given awards.

For the third straight year, tonnage at the Keller landfill was down due to the economic downturn in the economy.

“Perhaps the push for recycling is working,” Glover speculated. “That — plus the building industry has been hit hard — reducing construction debris.”

A new stricter application process that stressed accountability slowed the grant awards as everyone learned to use the new procedures, which were based on the recommendations from the County Auditor’s Office and the Board of Supervisors.

After complying with the new guidelines, there was only $766,796 left to dispense. The total amount was $1.1 million. The highest amount given by the mitigation fund in past years was $1.6 million.

The Keller mitigation fund was created to help the communities most impacted by the Keller landfill site south of Bay Point and Pittsburg. The largest portion of this year’s funds went for additional deputies for Bay Point beyond normal staffing levels.

“Just because some of the projects didn’t receive funding doesn’t mean the projects were not worthwhile,” said Glover. “There are good projects out there that need help that we simply couldn’t fund this year.”

Glover vowed to continue to seek other revenue sources to help the community-based agencies. “These nonprofits form the social safety net and in this economy, their services are needed more than ever,” he said.

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