By Seth Daniel
The waiting game for Wynn money is over as Mayor Martin Walsh announced this week that applications for the mitigation fund money are now available for the first-ever distribution to come this spring.
Walsh said in an op-ed (see inside) that there will be two rounds per year of mini-grants given to as many organizations as possible until 2019, when the casino is slated to open and a new batch of funding from Wynn will begin filling the fund annually. Until then, there is $1 million in the kitty that will need to last for at least two years.
“As we begin distributing the first payment of $1 million, it is important to remember that this funding is the only money Boston will be receiving from Wynn Resorts until their casino opens, which is projected to be in approximately two and a half years,” the mayor wrote. “Our intention is to make sure that this $1 million is spread out across as many local groups as possible and that this funding is sustained until the casino opens.
“The Managing Committee plans to award a large number of small grants over the next few years, prioritizing small, local nonprofits and applications for one-time projects, so that as many residents as possible receive the benefits of this initial funding,” he continued. “To achieve that goal, mini-grants will be awarded twice per year in the spring and fall. I am pleased to announce that the first round of applications is now available. The deadline to apply is Saturday, April 15, 2017 and awards will be given out in late May.”
The City has set up a dedicated website at boston.gov/charlestown-fund complete with online applications and a breakdown of all the materials that are needed for one to apply. Paper copies can also be mailed out to those seeking to apply for the money. The deadline to apply for the first round is April 15, with awards coming on May 31.
The second round deadline is Sept. 1, with awards coming on Oct. 15.
That flow will continue throughout the life of the fund.
Anyone who finds the process confusing can contact staff on hand at City Hall whose job it is to guide organizations through the new process. Contact for those staffers is A&F@boston.gov, or (617) 635-4479.
“We have staff on hand to help walk you through the process,” read the website. “You can call us or email our team, and we will offer guidance and tips to help you complete your application.”
To apply for the existing money in the mitigation fund, one must be a non-profit located in Charlestown and address a need in the community.
Some of the topics of needs included:
- parks and public spaces
- after-school activities
- senior citizen programs
- job training programs, and
- cultural activities and events.
“When addressing the Wynn Casino in Everett, my goal has always been to ensure the neighborhood of Charlestown is being treated fairly,” wrote the mayor. “I urge residents and nonprofits alike to become engaged in the process, not only to help us protect and preserve what makes Charlestown a special neighborhood to live and work in, but to help us shape the future of the neighborhood together.”