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County cuts more donations to nonprofits
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The county’s Policy and Personnel Committee met Tuesday night to decide on funding for local nonprofits.
As commissioners discussed the requests for the 2011-12 fiscal year, it quickly became obvious a shaky financial future has necessitated further cuts to a segment of the county budget that has already seen significant reductions.
In the 2010-11 budget, the county contributed a total of $98,543. The 2011-12 total is currently set at $82,200, a reduction of $16,343.
However, this is only the preliminary figure, as the contributions still have to go through the Budget and Finance Committee before becoming part of the final budget. Depending on how the rest of the budget goes, there could conceivably be further cuts, or in some cases increases.
One of the areas of concern for commissioners and County Executive John Pelham is the Warren County Food Bank, which has been receiving FEMA funding over the last few years.
“That money has usually been divided between the food bank and UCHRA,” Pelham said. “This year, as far as we know, like a lot of things federally, that money has been completely cut. This year they’re getting zero.”
Pelham told commissioners last year the FEMA emergency funds amounted to around $15,000. Even with the $3,000 the county contributed, the organization still ran out of food. As a result, the food bank requested $17,034 from the county for the 2011-12 budget.
Pelham said the number of families asking for food vouchers is still increasing, putting a strain on the program.
“We’ve actually run out of food at the food bank a couple of times already,” Pelham said. “We made some contacts and had some private donations and drives there.”
With Pelham’s encouragement, commissioners voted to double the county’s donation this year, pledging $6,000 to the program.
“I know many of these programs are important to the people who are involved in them,” Pelham said. “But families have to have food, and the food bank is a program we really need to support.”
Committee members agreed, voicing their concerns as well.
“This is a program where I’d like to add more if possible when it gets to Budget and Finance,” said committee member Les Trotman.
Pelham also pointed out the Sister Cities program had been canceled this year due to the earthquake and tsunami and therefore no funds had been allotted in the budget since the $2,500 from this year would not be used.
The following is a list of requests from the nonprofits and the amounts allotted by the county in the 2011-12 budget:
• American Red Cross
— Request: $10,000
— Allotted: $8,000
• CHEER Mental Health
— Request: $10,000
— Allotted: $5,000
• Children’s Advocacy Center
— Request: $10,000
— Allotted: $2,500
• Citizens for Progress Scholarship
— Request: $1,000
— Allotted: $1,000
• Families in Crisis
— Request: $8,700 (in kind — rent free office space)
— Allotted: $8,700 (in kind — rent free office space)
• Governor’s Books from Birth
— Request: $5,000
— Allotted: No funding
• Heritage Alliance
— Request: $3,426
— Allotted: $1,000
• Main Street McMinnville
— Request: $6,400
— Allotted: No funding
• McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce
— Request: $20,000
— Allotted: $5,000
• Highland Rim Cycling Classic
— Request: $5,000
— Allotted: $2,000
• McMinnville-Warren County Senior Center
— Request: $10,000
— Allotted: $5,000
• Pacesetters
— Request: $2,000
— Allotted: $$2,000
• Sister Cities
— Request: $5,000
— Allotted: No funding
• Sunny Day Adult Day Care
— Request: $5,000
— Allotted: $1,500
• Tennessee Opportunities Programs — RSVP
— Request: $1,500
— Allotted: $500
• Volunteer Fire Departments (Seven departments)
— Request: N/A
— Allotted: $21,000 ($3,000 each department)
• Warren County A&L Fair
— Request: $5,000
— Allotted: $5,000
• Warren County CARES
— Request: $5,000
— Allotted: $2,500
• Warren County Emergency Food Bank
— Request: $17,034
— Allotted: $6,000
• Warren County Home Delivery Meals
— Request: $5,000
— Allotted: $2,500
• Young Men United
— Request: $3,000
— Allotted: $3,000
• Wings Ministries
— Request: $1,000
— Allotted: No funding
• Total non-profit funding: $82,200
A number of non-profits which had asked for funding in the past did not submit requests this year.
Policy and Personnel Committee members voted unanimously to send the requests to Budget and Finance for final approval.