North Elba Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund

The North Elba LEAF is a fund available annually to grant applicants that are non-profits, local governments, and public sector organizations that serve the Town of North Elba community. Monies for the fund are derived from a dedicated 2% Essex County occupancy tax that was implemented by the Essex County Board of Supervisors in June of 2020.


The North Elba LEAF prioritizes projects that meet the mission of the fund and are catalysts for new programming or offerings for the community. LEAF grants are not intended to fund current iterations of programs for eligible organizations. This program is intended for one time project funding and is not for recurring annual expenses or operational costs. The committee agrees at the inception of LEAF to create a capital project fund; the total of this fund will be determined annually at an annual budget meeting.

Mission Statement

To provide funds for programs, activities, and facilities that will have direct benefits to our communities and improve the quality of place for both residents and visitors.

Grant approvals of full or partial awards will involve a two-step process. The North Elba LEAF committee, after a diligent review of all eligible applications, will make recommendations to the North Elba Town Board (NETB) for final approval. The North Elba LEAF committee will not exceed 11 members who will be approved by the NETB.  Committee support in the service of grant administration and compliance will be provided by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) LEAF administrator. The committee reserves the right to review guidelines at a minimum annually to make changes they deem necessary.

LEAF Information

  • Non-profits – any 501c organization serving the social, cultural, or economic interests of our community
  • Municipalities
  • Public sector organizations
  • Regional agencies

There are three levels of funding, including:

  • $9,999 – $19,999
  • $20,000+ for large grants for the calendar year

LEAF Applications

  • Will positively impact the community and its visitors
  • Addresses a significant need of the community
  • Will be executed by an organization that demonstrates sound administration and financial management
  • Entails an initiative that will not depend on ongoing funding from LEAF
  • Will be completed within a defined timeline
  • Program or project must clearly be in North Elba or benefit North Elba residents


Applicants requesting $10k or more will be required to provide additional information as requested by the committee.

  • Submit only one proposal per organization
  • Larger projects may be subject to rolling funding
  • Recipients of grants will be required to submit a Grant Report at the end of the project
  • Additional specific documentation may be requested, depending on the project
  • All applications must be completed in their entirety in order for it to be considered eligible
  • All applicants must submit: a description of your organization, its principal activities, mission, and people served (250 word max)
    • Lead organizational contact for project and contact info for staff involved in project and title(s), and list of administrators and Trustees or Board of Directors
    • Project description detailing goals, community impact, needs met, and leveraged resources, if applicable (300 words max)
    • Explanation of how you will measure success and outcomes (150 word max)
    • Timeline of project (50 words max) and project budget (1 page max) and organizational budget (1 page max)
    • Explanation of how organization responds to the cultural and linguistic needs of its clients/constituents
    • Latest Financial Audit and 990 form, if available
    • Application must be completed via LEAF system. No other formats will be accepted.
  • A comprehensive project budget must be submitted with a secondary, lean budget reduced by 25%
  • A comprehensive budget of the organization is also required
  • A representative from the organization will be available to answer questions from the North Elba LEAF Committee as the grant application is reviewed
  • If a project receives rolling funding, reporting on timeline and goals achieved must  be presented when drawdowns are requested
  • The North Elba LEAF committee may request additional information to assist in funding decisions
  • A comprehensive, multi-month timeline with clear milestones must be submitted
  • List and describe your organization’s key ongoing programs
  • Describe your organization’s track record for collaborating with other organizations working to meet similar needs or provide similar services
  • Describe any significant changes to your organization over the last three years (e.g. leadership changes, restructuring)
  • Indicate if your organization has an independent board of directors
  • Does your organization have a written conflict of interest policy for both its staff and board?
  • Indicate whether your organization employs a general counsel or retains the services of an outside counsel
  • If outside counsel is employed, please list name and firm

Applications will be reviewed two times a year.

  • Round 1: Applications must be submitted no later than February 1 and approved by the North Elba Town Board no later than May.
  • Round 2: Applications must be submitted no later than September 1 and approved by the North Elba Town Board no later than November.
  • LEAF administrator cross-checks the legal name and address of each applicant and checks for required signatures and forms
  • Prescreening: LEAF administrator reviews each proposal to determine if it meets the required grant program criteria
  • Review: The North Elba LEAF committee reviews all funding applications. Each project must pass a two-stage approval process prior to receiving funding. The LEAF committee first thoroughly reviews all applications and conducts interviews as needed. The committee then makes funding recommendations to the North Elba Town Board. Before a project is recommended to the NETB, 70% of the voting members of the North Elba LEAF committee must affirm the decision to fund, or all voting committee members minus one in case of absentees or abstentions.
  • Grant decision meeting: Reviewers present summaries and recommendations, discuss proposals, and make final award recommendations, as a committee, to the NETB
  • The LEAF administrator will monitor the grant expenditures once the grant has been approved
  • The committee will have the ability to grant a portion of a request
  • Grants for individuals
  • Capital campaigns
  • Deficit financing
  • Endowments
  • Political organizations or campaigns
  • Lobbying legislators or influencing elections
  • Fundraising events
  • Core operating expenses for public sector, government, or not-for-profits
  • Projects that are typically the funding responsibility of federal, state, or local governments
  • Scholarship programs; however, exceptions are made for summer camp or afterschool program scholarships
  • Projects that have already taken place 
  • Expenses already incurred
  • Religious activities, including, but not limited to, religious services, promotion of religious beliefs, or activities that are restricted to church or religious group membership
  • Feasibility/design studies
  • Catherine Bemis – St. Agnes School Principal, Wyatts/Eleanor’s Pasta Kitchen
  • Dick Cummings – Town Representative
  • Jackie Kelly – Village Representative
  • Matt Donahue – Adirondack Foundation
  • Chris Ericson – Lake Placid Pub & Brewery/Big Slide Brewery & Public House
  • Jim McKenna/ MJ Lawrence – ROOST Representative
  • Andrew Milne – Saranac Waterfront Lodge
  • Val Rogers – Community Member
  • Jenn Webb – Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort
  • Andrew Weibrecht – Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa