1.0 - Introduction

The self-help program was developed by the County Commissioners in an effort to create community interest and involvement in the improvement of recreational facilities throughout Carroll County. To achieve this goal, the County has established a capital fund, which the recreation councils can utilize for this purpose. To qualify for these funds, the recreation council's prospective project must meet certain requirements and the recreation council must provide monetary and, where applicable, volunteer hour contributions for its development.
These requirements are explained later on in this policy. The self-help program allows funds to be used during the fiscal year without having to go through the capital improvement budgetary process.

2.0 - Procedures

2.1 The Department of Recreation and Parks will hear requests for self-help funds during February and September of each year. Self-help requests for school tot lot projects may only be presented to the Board for consideration for funding at the February meeting, pending available funds. Requests should be made on standard Project Request Forms, which will be supplied by the Department. All requests must be made by a volunteer representative of the group that is seeking to utilize the funds. If a volunteer representative is not in attendance to present the project, it will not be considered and will have to be resubmitted.

2.2 Project request forms must to be submitted by the first Wednesday of February and September to be considered for funding. Three bids for the materials requested must be provided with the application.

2.3 After self-help fund requests are approved by the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, the Department of Recreation and Parks, a request to establish accounts for projects will be made to the County Commissioners.

2.4 Once the accounts have been approved the requesting group will be notified by the Department, on behalf of the County Commissioners.

2.5 It is suggested that requests for infield mix be submitted in September to ensure that infield mix can be delivered in time for recreation council installation prior to the spring baseball/softball season. If a recreation council desires infield mix for multiple sites all sites shall be a part of a single project.


3.0 - Eligibility

3.1 All requests for self-help projects must be made through a recreation council affiliated with the Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks. 

3.2 Self-help funds may be utilized to develop or renovate recreation and parks facilities which are determined to be beneficial to the general community. Typically these funds mare used for capital expenses and not program equipment. Examples of eligible projects include items relating to the playing court/field such as ballfield infield mix, backstops, goals, backboards, wrestling mats, dog parks and permanent structures
such as playgrounds, swings, docks, signage, lighting, etc. Coach’s tools such as pitching machines, rebound machines and program equipment such as balls, bats, uniforms, etc. are examples of ineligible projects.

3.3 Self-help funds will not be utilized to acquire land or develop recreation programs.

3.4 Self-help requests for school tot lot projects may only be presented to the Board for consideration for funding at the February meeting, pending available funds.

3.5 Project requests for use of self-help funds to purchase equipment will only be considered if each individual line item of equipment has a cost of no less than $1,000.

4.0 - Eligible Sites
4.1 Self-help funds may be utilized on public owned property, on school property, County parks and other County property. Self-help funds may also be used on approved quasi-public property such as Jaycees, Lions Club community parks if these sites are open to the public and provide recreational benefits to the general community or provide program benefits to the County’s recreation councils

4.2 Self-help funds may not be utilized on private property.

5.0 - Justification and Presentation
5.1 Groups requesting self-help funds must make a presentation to the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board at the February or September Board meeting. The requesting group presentation shall include:

5.1.1 - A brief description of the project including the project location.

5.1.2 - Justification for the project to include the benefit that this project provides to the Recreation Council and the community.

5.1.3 - A list of volunteer names and hours that the project will involve.

5.1.4 - The cost of the project and the basis of funding. Three bids for materials requested must be provided with the application.

5.2 As a general rule, no decision will be made by the Advisory Board the night of the self-help presentations. Instead, all project requests will be referred to the Board’s capital committee with a vote and approval by the full Board to occur at the following month’s meeting (October/March)

6.0 - Ratios for Self-Help Fund Expenditures

6.1 The County will provide $10.00 of self-help funds for each hour contributed by volunteers. Volunteer hours may not be submitted for the installation of tot lots. Installation must be completed by personnel approved by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

6.2 The County will provide $3.00 of self-help money for every $1.00 contributed by the requesting organizations.

6.4 In no case will the community's monetary contribution be less than 15%, or the County's monetary contribution more than 85% of the approved project costs.

6.5 County self-help funding is limited to a maximum of 85% of projects up to $25,000, any project in excess of $25,000 or in excess of the County’s allocated funds will be the total responsibility of the requesting organization.


7.0 - Specifications and Implementation Plan

7.1 An implementation plan and general specifications will be developed for each project by the requesting group. Specifications and implementation plan will be presented to the Department of Recreation and Parks with the initial projects presentation and subject to its approval.

7.2 The Department of Recreation and Parks will provide technical services where appropriate and when time allows.

7.3 A representative of the Department of Recreation and Parks or an inspector from the County's Bureau of Permits and Inspections will periodically inspect the project during its construction. The inspector will issue a report pertaining to his inspection.

7.4 It will be the responsibility of the requesting group to maintain the facility at no cost to the County.

8.0 - Funding Procedures

8.1 Matching community funds must be forwarded to the County before the project begins.

8.2 Self-help funds will not be allocated directly to the sponsoring group. All funds will be administered through the Department of Recreation and Parks.

8.3 All materials, supplies and services required for the construction of the project are to be acquired through the County's Purchasing Department. The community will bear the costs of all items acquired under other procedures. Supplies and materials, when appropriate, may be picked up by the requesting group at the vendor's location, after formal purchasing procedures have been completed.

8.4 If outside contractual services are to be utilized, the Department of Recreation and Parks will determine which contractor will be awarded the job. Upon final inspection of the project, the Department will authorize payment to the contractor.

8.5 Any project or a component of a project that is over $2,500 must be bid through the County's bidding procedures.

8.6 All purchases must pertain to items included in the original project request.

8.7 There will be a one (1) year time limit during which the project must be completed. After one (1) year, the project account will be automatically closed unless an extension is requested in writing before this deadline and the extension is approved by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

8.8 Closed accounts with balances of $1,000 or less will be transferred in their entirety to the unallocated self-help fund. In cases where closed accounts have a balance greater than $1,000 a percentage of the balance will be refunded to the requesting organization. Any refunds shall not exceed 25% of the balance or the requesting organizations’ original cash contribution. Any remaining funds will be transferred to the unallocated self-help fund.

Revised 11.22.23