McMinnville officials are in a giving mood.
Finance Committee members included $251,178 in donations to nonprofit organizations in the city’s budget – up by $100,000 from last year.
Among donations considered by committee members Clair Cochran, Billy Wood and Everett Brock were ones to the Industrial Development Board, Main Street McMinnville, and the Silver and Gold Band.
IDB requested $50,000, an increase of $16,000 from last year’s donation.
“We don’t see anything from them but give us more money,” said Cochran. “Where is their representative tonight? Why isn’t someone here? They use our money to fund projects in the county.”
Brock explained the increase request as a reaction to the controversy surrounding IDB funding from the county. “They requested an increase because of what’s going on in the county right now,” he said. “They don’t know if they will get funding from them. The IDB is a good program.”
Cochran questioned, “It might be, but what is our return on investment? I hate to bring this up again, but we gave the IDB properties. What do they have, more than $600,000 sitting in an account collecting interest? I have yet to see where the interest on that money is going.”
When it came to Main Street McMinnville, its original request was for $25,000. However, a subsequent request was for $70,000.
“Main Street McMinnville, now that’s an organization that gives us a return on our investment,” said Cochran.
The committee agreed to give Main Street McMinnville $70,000.
The Silver and Gold Band, which is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)3, made a request of $5,000. Wood says the band has never asked the city for a donation, with this request being the first and last.
“This will be a one-time only donation of $5,000,” said Wood. “The band needs a good copier.”
Brock added, “The band can have my copier. I’m retiring and won’t need it. I paid $300 for it.”
The committee agreed to the $5,000 request.
Rounding out the other donations were Warren County Rescue Squad $3,000, Sister Cities $10,000, Chamber of Commerce $49,000, Chamber dues $5,500, Business Roundtable Action Committee $7,000, Senior Center $4,000, Sunny Day Adult Daycare $2,500, Warren County CARES $4,800, Heritage Alliance $300, and Families in Crisis $2,500.
Also given, but required by state law, were Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency $2,721, Magness Library $48,000, and Upper Cumberland Development District $2,857.
Donations will be presented to the full board for its consideration at the July 24 regular session.