06 - PRIORITIZATION OF NEEDS AND ACTION PLAN Funds raised through this source can be used for a variety of purposes including, but not necessarily limited to, the following: professional and amateur sports, athletics, entertainment, tourism, convention, and public park purpose events. The funds from this source could be used for capital expenditures for land, facilities, and operational purposes. The city of DeSoto currently uses the sales tax fund to help fund new park and recreation facilities. Grant–In–Aid Programs Grant programs provide funding assistance for various aspects of parks and recreational facilities. The grant-in-aid programs are usually matched programs, meaning the grant matches municipal funds or services at a prescribed ratio, usually ranging from 50/50 to 80/20. Texas Recreation and Parks Account (TRPA) Program Texas Local Parks, Recreation, and Open-Space Fund is administered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The TPWD program allows a city to request matching funds for both the acquisition and construction of park facilities. Currently, funds are available on a fifty percent (50%) cost share basis; the maximum amount a grant request can be for is $500,000. The grant is secured through submission of an application that follows a standard format for applicants. All applications received are ranked on a point system that is designed to evaluate the need for the purchase or construction being requested. Funds are distributed among the applicants having the greater number of points until all allocated funds are expended. Applications to TPWD can be made annually, with a six-month waiting period following the submission date before the successful applications are notified. The number of applications a city may submit at any given time is based on past performance on grants and TPWD evaluation criteria. This funding source is used by many communities. The competitiveness of the program generally allows cities having bona fide park needs to prevail in obtaining funds. Urban and Community Forest Challenge Grant Matching grants are available on a 50/50 cost share basis from the Texas Department of Forestry. A variety of projects including: program development, beautification, and staffing and training workshops are considered. These are relatively small grants of $5,000 to $10,000.
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