By Kindred Gaynor, Staff Writer
HARTFORD — Katie Glass, the executive director of the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, wants to create a safe environment for artists in an old building that was donated. So she plans to fix it up.
That’s why she applied for $143, 002 from the Connecticut Neighborhood Assistance Act. The organization hopes to do roofing and lighting updates.
“It is a 40-year-old building that requires renovations,” Glass said. “Our roof being fixed is critical because it means that people can keep coming to a safe environment.”
The organization, which enriches lives through hand weaving, is also asking for a new HVAC system because the one that is in place now is original to the building.
Glass was one of the 67 agencies that apply for the program. Only five of them showed up to the public hearing Monday night at city hall.
The NAA Tax Credit Program is designed to provide funding for municipal and tax exempt organizations by providing a corporation business tax credit for businesses that make cash contributions to these entities.
The Hartford City Council must take action on 67 eligible 2019 Neighborhood Assistance Act proposals no later then June 10.
The organizations will benefit from the Neighborhood Assistance Act because unlike loans, grants don’t have to be repaid. These grants are designed to help these organizations grow. The types of community programs that qualify for the NAA tax credit program include energy conservation, employment and training, child care services, neighborhood assistance, substance abuse, open space acquisition, crime prevention programs, and affordable housing development.
This year the caps on individuals are the same. There is a $150,000 cap for non-profit organizations for the amount that they can raise from donors that is covered by tax credit. There is also an $150,000 cap for each dollar on the amount they can donate in any one tax year.
In previous years, the total amount of credits that were permitted state wide was $10 million dollars. Two years ago they cut that maximum in half to $5 million dollars state wide.
Joan Gurksi, director of grants, explained the process of the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. “What the Connecticut DRS does after they receive all of the applications is they not only determine whether or not they agree with the programs but they also assign a limit of the amount that can be raised with tax credit.
There is a formula that is applied in order for DRS to generate the amount that each organization/agency is supposed to receive. There is some discretion during this process.”
Connecticut DRS lets the public know how much tax credit is allotted to each donor from each non-profit. The lists that Central Grants gets from Connecticut DRS will be posted on the Central Grant web page.
Adria Giordano, director of development for Chrysalis Center, explained why her company is requesting a $150,000 grant from the state. “We provide homes for homeless individuals, people who are on the brink of homelessness and those who suffer from mental health issues,” said Giordano.
The Chrysalis Center has a total of five sites in the state of Connecticut, one of those sites being for veterans. The organization recently received a grant to purchase the home for 21 homeless veterans. Giorando said, “The home that was purchased is a turn of a century building that would benefit immensely from renovations. It needs a lot of work to be energy efficient.” The organization wants to get the renovations done as soon as possible to improve the overall safety of the building.
Jennifer DeJong represented the Village for Families and Children. The organization is requesting a $150,000 grant for numerous upgrades to their facility. It has been brought to their attention that they are experiencing high levels of carbon monoxide.
They have been advised to replace the boilers that they currently have with high energy efficient stainless steel boilers. This organization works in collaboration with the Department of Children and Families and needs to refurbish their facility without any further delay.
Council President, Glendowlyn Thames, concluded the public hearing by telling each of the representatives that she doesn’t see any issues with their grant requests and they should expect to know if their grants were approved by Labor Day.