Grants help those in unincorporated King County

King County has a grant program called Community Service Area grants that help communities in unincorporated areas of the county.

In late February the county announced 52 community projects had been awarded funds through this grant program.

The grants can range up to $3,000 each and a requirement is funds must be matched in order to qualify for the Community Service Area grant.

“The funds will leverage local volunteer efforts by unincorporated area residents who make a difference where they live,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a media release.

The total amount awarded this year through the program, the release stated, was $90,000.

“I was glad to have had the chance to work with my colleagues on the council to increase this year’s grant funds by 50 percent in order to better support unincorporated communities,” King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn said in a media release. “These grants help to create more active and vibrant communities.”

There are seven different areas within unincorporated King County that received money for projects from this grant program. And two of those areas, West King County and the Greater Maple Valley/Cedar River Area, include groups in and around unincorporated Renton.

Five different community groups in the Fairwood area were awarded funds this year.

The Fairwood Greens Homeowners Association was among one of the groups and they received $2,000 in funds.

Bonnie Lyon, vice president for the board of trustees with the Fairwood Greens HOA, said the money will go toward their annual family event they host every September.

Lyon is also the lead planner for special events in the Fairwood Greens neighborhood.

The annual event called Last Splash is held on the first Sunday following Labor Day.

She said these grants help King County seek ways to build the unincorporated areas of the county. This is the fourth year, the Fairwood Greens HOA has received money from this grant program for this event.

“We invite everyone in the Fairwood community to come,” Lyon said. “It’s not just for our neighborhood.”

This event takes place at Allen Park on 145th Avenue Southeast.

The Fairwood Greens neighborhood houses 1,500 homes.

Another group receiving funds this year was the Boulevard Lane Community Association. They were awarded $1,000 to go toward community events.

Greta Nelson, association president, said the board will discuss in detail at their next meeting on March 30 what the funds will go toward.

She said it will likely go toward efforts to increase attendance at current neighborhood events, like National Night Out, by adding different elements to improve these get-togethers.

She added, it may also go toward new community events.

Boulevard Lane is home to 427 homes.

The Parks Homeowners Association in the Fairwood area of unincorporated King County was awarded $1,600.

Michelle Faltaous, president of the HOA, said the money will go toward replacing an outdated play structure.

Faltaous said the playground wasn’t getting used anymore because the equipment was outdated. She added that the current play structure had first been installed some time between 1997 and 2000.

She said the HOA is hoping to get the new equipment installed this summer. But no completion date has been set yet.

The fourth local area to receive grant funds is the Lake Desire Community Club. The club was awarded two different amounts, the first being $400 and the other $2,750.

The $400 will go toward the club’s National Night Out barbecue, Heather Stafford, president of the community club said.

And the $2,750 will go toward updating the exterior, she said.

The clubhouse is in an old school portable, Stafford said and the money will be used to repaint it, make the steps safer and to remove an old tree stump and put in a new patio.

She added, members of the community can have their names written on pavers used in the new patio.

Stafford said roughly five years ago, they had remodeled the inside of the clubhouse. And last year, used grant money to update the outdated kitchen.

And two years ago, they used grant money to replace their chairs throughout the clubhouse.

The final group to receive funds was the Woodside Homeowners Association.

They were awarded $2,000 to go toward their National Night Out event.

The projects in the Fairwood area of unincorporated King County accounted for nearly 11 percent of the total funds awarded this year with this program.

Among other grant awardees were those in the greater Renton area.

They include the Maple Hills Maintenance Company who received $1,750 to put toward their National Night Out event.

The Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council who was awarded three different amounts for various projects.

First they were awarded $1,200 to go toward community safety and emergency preparedness. Another $700 was given for water quality stream testing kit materials and lastly, $1,100 was given to the Four Creeks UAC for their National Night Out event.

And the Lake McDonald Community Association was awarded $2,500 to go toward the installation of LED lights to improve neighborhood safety.

The association will install solar LED lights near their clubhouse. The media release said there isn’t adequate lighting there and burglaries have happened several times because of it.