Glenmont Civic Association pins hopes on federal grant
Money would pay for solar-powered billboards and welcome sign
The members of Greater Glenmont Civic Association had just finished hearing how county budget woes would make it nearly impossible for any funds to funnel down to their neighborhood last week when association President Kris Kumaroo spotted an e-mail on his phone.
Fourth District county police had just nominated his civic association for a $15,000 neighborhood revitalization grant.
Suddenly, the civic association's dreams of a "Welcome to Glenmont" sign, solar-powered billboards to keep the community in touch and postage for regular newsletters fluttered back to life.
"We have an opportunity to finally pull ourselves into a different financial status and send the civic association onto a new plane," Kumaroo said.
The grant comes from a partnership between national insurer MetLife Inc. and community-growth nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which together provide several community-development grants across the nation.
Glenmont's civic association, which covers about 2,500 homes and businesses, is nominated for one of the police-partnership awards. These awards support community groups that partner with police to promote neighborhood safety.
The Greater Glenmont Civic Association started in October 2008 and has since been one of the county's most active civic associations, county officials and police officers say.
The group quickly organized weekly neighborhood watch walks with 4th District officers, and the regular walks have chomped into the area's crime rates, said Officer Sharif Hidayat, who covers the Glenmont area and works closely with the civic association.
Hidayat nominated the civic association last week.
The Greater Glenmont Civic Association was "the first organization I really thought of that was really organized and worked well with police," he said.
The police partnership grant ranges in cash values from $15,000 to $25,000 and will be handed out to 11 neighborhoods across the country, said Mona Mangat, the program officer for LISC.
Mangat said the grant is open to thousands of civic associations and nonprofits across the country, and of those, about 600 actually apply, Mangat said.
"The applications have been coming in steadily and increasing every year," Mangat said.
But with the endorsement of county police, Kumaroo thinks his neighborhood has a good chance to win it.
"If we are selected, it will change the Glenmont region dramatically within months," he said.
Glenmont will learn in late February if they're one of the top 20 percent to be considered for the grant. The final decision should be made by this summer, Mangat said.