CLEVELAND--April 30, 2010--The Fund for Our Economic Future, a philanthropic collaboration that works to strengthen the economic competitiveness of Northeast Ohio, has named ten finalists competing for EfficientGovNow awards. Three winners will be determined by a public vote to be held from May 1 through May 31, with the Fund reserving the option to award a fourth grant to a collaboration involving smaller communities.
Winners of the EfficientGovNow awards will be announced in early June. A total of $330,000 in grant dollars will be made available.
Details on the ten finalists projects can be viewed on the EfficientGovNow Web site, www.EfficientGovNow.org. Residents of Northeast Ohio can vote in one of three ways – online at www.EfficientGovNow.org, by calling 1-877-771-5206, or with a mail-in ballot available from the participating project partners. The Fund is using a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to help promote and engage more citizens in the competition.
“The residents of Northeast Ohio have repeatedly called for more efficient local government and the Fund for Our Economic Future has heard that call,” said Brad Whitehead, president, Fund for Our Economic Future. “The EfficientGovNow competition empowers residents to take action directly to accelerate and reward the region’s most promising government collaboration efforts. We look forward to helping the citizens drive change in their local governments.”
The ten competing projects are:
- Implement Countywide Collaborative Storm Water Management Agency Supported by County Commissioners, County Engineer, Local Jurisdictions and Citizens (Lorain County)
- Countywide 9-1-1 Dispatch Center (Stark County)
- Trumbull County Coordinated Geographical Information System (GIS) Sharing and Data Collection
- GIS Cooperative for Small Communities and Utilities (Partners within Ashtabula, Columbiana, Summit, Carroll and Lorain counties)
- Better than Margarita Salt! Four cities join together to create system to increase safety, decrease cost and improve the environment (Partners within Cuyahoga County)
- Ashtabula County Planning Collaborative
- Affordable Solutions for Pharmaceutical Access in Summit County to Promote Self-Sufficiency and Employability
- Grounds for Change: Creating the First Collaborative Land Bank for the Mahoning County Region
- A Better Approach for Our Fire Departments to Help the Public (Lake County)
- Let the Sun Shine…The Cleveland – First Suburbs Solar Special Improvement District Pilot Program
The finalists were selected from 27 qualified proposals submitted to the Fund from nearly all of Northeast Ohio’s 16 counties. To be eligible for consideration, the projects had to meet baseline criteria, including that each project involve at least two governmental partners, be ready for implementation, demonstrate how it could be replicated by others and describe the ways it would reinvest the cost savings to promote economic growth in the region.
“These were all great projects and choosing the finalists was not easy,” Whitehead said. “What continues to be most encouraging to the Fund is seeing so many local governments across the region looking at creative, collaborative ways to more efficiently deliver services to their constituents and strengthen our region. While only four projects will receive EfficientGovNow funding right now, we encourage all of the proposals to move forward to strengthen our region’s economic competitiveness.”