If you were handed $1000 to do something positive in your community, what would you do with it? That's a question that Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek and the City of Oneonta are asking Oneonta residents right now thanks to recent approval by Oneonta's Common Council on an initiative of Mayor Mark Drnek's to lend a helping hand to people in the community who wish to make it a better place to live. This initiative is simply called "The Oneonta Community Initiative" (OCI) and the idea is to financially support groups and individuals with monetary awards ranging from $200 to $1000 who wish to use that money to somehow make the community better. Every three months as much as $5000 will be handed out for this initiative. That idea of making the community a better place is open to interpretation and imagination but here are some ideas so you get a sense of what the Mayor is looking for from people who apply for funding.

Maybe you feel that a nearby park could use more flowers for people to enjoy? You could apply for funds to purchase daffodil bulbs and get members in the community to help you plant them in the fall. You could be someone who loves to knit and would like to get some knitting friends together and make scarves and hats for those in need but the supplies cost money you don't have. This would be an opportunity to get funding for those supplies. Or you would like to build a little library for people in your neighborhood to enjoy but need money to buy the supplies to build it. These are just a few ideas to get your imagination sparked. Mayor Drnek says the city is looking for anything that will "enhance, entertain, and otherwise benefit the community".

Applications for the OCI will be reviewed by a committee that will decide what projects will receive funding. Destination Oneonta will be collecting photos and videos from grant winners selected to share with the public on the Destination Oneonta Facebook Page.

Drnek gives credit to some "tenacious" individuals for helping him realize his idea as this unique opportunity did not come about without considerable help. In the video below, Drnek provides more details on how this is possible and what the city is looking for from applicants.

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It's time to brainstorm with your neighbors and friends about what would enhance our community. Learn more about The Oneonta Community Initiative and apply at destinationoneonta.com/oci-program.

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