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Valparaiso City Hall

Valparaiso City Hall

VALPARAISO —The city is looking for a few good neighborhood projects to fund through its new Neighborhood Improvement Grant Program.

The Redevelopment Commission on Tuesday approved the pilot program and has committed $60,000 towards the grants.

Maggie Clifford, director of community engagement, said the grant applications are open to all neighborhoods throughout the city. Applications must be submitted by an organization or committee representing that neighborhood.

The grants will be up to $15,000 each, she said, and will be aimed at completing physical improvements which could be done by the city's departments.

"This gives them a say in what makes sense for their neighborhood," Clifford said.

The projects can range from physical improvements like fixing sidewalks, park equipment or street lights to public art displays or neighborhood signage and branding. The projects must aim to improve or enhance public spaces. 

Clifford said she will hold three informational sessions for any groups wanting to learn more about the grants or application process. The sessions will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Valparaiso Public Library, 103 Jefferson St.; 6 p.m., July 25 at Valparaiso City Hall, 166 Lincolnway and at noon July 26 at City Hall.

Grant applications are due Oct. 1. After all applications are received, Clifford said they will be reviewed by a committee on feasibility and merit. Those chosen to be funded will be presented to the Redevelopment Commission at its October meeting for approval.

Additional information about the program is available on the city's website at ci.valparaiso.in.us/1636/Neighborhood-Improvement-Grant.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.