Staples, Minn.,
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Cities & Counties Invited to Apply for 2018 Innovation Funding

NJPA plans to award $500,000 for innovative and collaborative regional projects

It was a full house at the Hilltop Regional Kitchen's Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening Ceremony in Eagle Bend on Nov 15, 2017. The kitchen project received Innovation Funding in 2016 and 2017. An estimated 100,000 meals per year will be produced for senior citizens throughout central Minnesota as a result of the new kitchen.

For the fifth-consecutive year, city and county entities within Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties (Region 5) have the opportunity to partner with National Joint Powers Alliance and make special projects and initiatives come to life. The application process for NJPA's 2018 City & County Innovation Funding program is open now through May 9, 2018.

“We can't wait to see the creative and collaborative ideas that come forth this year,” said Anna Gruber, NJPA manager of city & county solutions. “Each year it seems like our pool of applications is bigger and better with several innovative proposed projects to strengthen our communities.”

NJPA created Innovation Funding to help cities and counties in Region 5 fund initiatives aimed at creating collaboration and improving the region. The program promotes outside-the-box teamwork on projects that might otherwise not get off the ground.

Since 2014, Region 5 cities and counties have used over $1.6 million in Innovation Funding to positively impact central Minnesota with 21 projects.

Some of the most recognizable past recipients of Innovation Funding include Eagle Bend's Hilltop Regional Kitchen, the hiring of a Drug Task Force Agent for Wadena County, Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness campaign coordinated through Crow Wing County and facilitated by the Mississippi Headwaters Board, Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace in Little Falls coordinated through Morrison County and Community Development, and Portable Speed Awareness Signage initiated by the city of Pierz.

Following the May 9 deadline, NJPA staff and the City, County, and Other Government Association Advisory Committee will conduct an initial review of applications. After that, those applicants who meet the requirements will be invited share their project proposals at Innovation Funding Review Day on Wednesday, June 13.

Individuals who attend the Review Day as a representative of a member city, county, or other government association within Region 5 rank the projects. The top-ranked projects will receive full or partial funding, depending on the amounts requested. NJPA anticipates it will award $500,000 worth of projects; the amount is pending budget approval by the organization's Board of Directors.

Learn more and find the application at

About NJPA

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with over 200 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.