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City revises proposed nonprofit donations
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Some nonprofit organizations are content with proposed changes to their donations, while others are not. A total of $168,231 is currently allocated for nonprofits in the city of McMinnville’s budget for fiscal year 2013-14.
Meeting to discuss donation changes recently were Finance Committee members Aldermen Ken Smith, chairman, Ben Newman and Mike Neal.
Magness Library was given a “one-time donation” of $7,000 to be included with a $48,000 donation under “maintenance of effort.”
Newman says, after taking time to review the library’s budget request, he believes the numbers are slightly skewed with the inclusion of $52,000 for depreciation included as an actual expense.
“After looking at their budget and taking out the depreciation expense, which is not an expense but an accounting mechanism, they are above their budget by $3,000,” Newman said. “They talked about having trouble with computers and having old computers.”
Newman made a motion to include in the budget a one-time donation of $7,000 to go toward computers, as well as the $48,000 for maintenance of effort. The motion was accepted unanimously.
The library is currently in a financial struggle with officials over maintenance of effort. This year’s proposed city donation is less than the combined $70,000 given last year.
Main Street McMinnville’s proposed donation remained unchanged at $35,000. However, a caveat was added to require the money to be used for the salary of Main Street McMinnville executive director Carla King.
“The executive director of Main Street McMinnville is working on a dime with no benefits, or very few benefits,” said Smith. “I make a motion we approve the $35,000 restricted toward the salary of the executive director.”
The proposed donation to Chamber of Commerce of $15,000 remained unchanged. It’s far less than the $59,000 given last year for tourism.
While Smith and Neal voted to approve $15,000 for the Chamber, Newman voted against it and voiced a desire to consider giving more.
“We have given them more in the past,” Newman said. “The county is talking about a tourism board and I think that’s something we should look into, too. I’m not sure on this one.”
The county’s proposed donation to the Chamber is $4,000, down from $5,000.
“If you look at that, we are still giving them three times more than the county,” said Smith. “One thing we always need to remember is city citizens are in actuality paying twice to nonprofits. I’m not against nonprofits, but I’ve heard from city citizens they are concerned.”
Neal says he is OK with $15,000 until the board decides what it wants to do about establishing a tourism board with the county. “If the county decides to set a tourism board, we may decide to get on board with that.”
Smith added, “If the city and county don’t form a tourism board, which acts similar to the Industrial Development Board, then there would certainly be some money freed up to give to the Chamber for tourism.”
“I think we should keep in mind how this is going to affect the Chamber,” said Newman. “I’m just not comfortable with $15,000.”
According to Chamber president Alicea Weddington, if the city’s proposed donation of $15,000 remains unchanged, it could mean unemployment for up to two of her employees.
“I will lose at least one staff member, if not two,” said Weddington. “Losing two would leave only me.”
Remaining in the budget was Chamber dues of $5,500, bringing the total donation to the Chamber to $20,500.
The Warren County Senior Center donation was changed to $8,800, up from the proposed $2,500. Newman motioned to give $8,400, which was followed by an amendment by Smith to increase the amount to $8,800.
“The increase to $8,800 is with a restriction that the donation be used for health, fitness and wellness programs and certainly, on meal and nutrition programs,” said Smith.
Senior Center director Cheryl Mingle agreed to the restriction and voiced appreciation to the city for the increase to its donation.
Warren County Rescue Squad, which was without a donation, was included in the budget with a $6,053 donation.
“I make a motion that we put $5,000 toward the rescue squad,” said Newman.
The motion received a second by Neal.
“That would cover the insurance on the building,” said Smith. “In the past, we have taken care of that.”
After Rescue Squad Chief Fred Hillis informed the committee that $5,000 would not cover the building’s insurance of $6,053, Newman amended his motion to $6,053. The amount was unanimously accepted.
A donation to Families in Crisis was changed from $2,500 to $5,000.
Remaining in the budget and unchanged from preliminary budget review were UCHRA dues of $2,721, UCDD assessment of $2,857, Sister Cities $5,000, Business Roundtable Committee $7,000, Industrial Development Board $20,000, and Heritage Alliance $300.
The proposed budget, nonprofit donations included, will be presented to the full board for its consideration on July 9. Changes can still be made.