Funding recommendations made
Contributions to local nonprofit organizations would account for about $289,000 of the city’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2010-2011. But not everyone will go away from the table happy if things remain as they have been proposed.
Under a budget proposal that will be up for public discussion during a City Council meeting tonight, several organizations in the city would get full funding of their requests. Others — most notably the Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad — would get significantly less than they’ve asked the city for.
A representative for the Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad said the group would have several people at tonight’s public hearing to speak to City Council about the reduction. The group asked for $100,000 — the same amount it has requested for years — but only $50,000 has been recommended.
The process for requesting inclusion in the city budget changed last year, and then it changed again this year. Councilman Robert Barclay suggested the change last year, after noticing that different organizations were asking for money at different times in the budget process.
Last year, a pot of $250,000 was allocated in the budget process, and City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn and her staff made the funding decisions later after hearing detailed presentations from the organizations that had requested money.
This year, applications were due in January and those presentations already have been made. Therefore, funding recommendations are included in the budget.
“It gives us an opportunity to get more information from the applicants before we have to make a decision,” Barclay said. “The idea is that we set out in advance how much we’re going to spend on these sort of things.”
Sue Woodward, president of the Suffolk Nansemond Historical Society, said she understands the need to justify where money is being spent. The budget proposes that the society get the full $10,000 it requested.
“I think it’s a good thing to take a careful look at where they’re giving their money,” Woodward said.
The Suffolk chapter of the American Red Cross also requested $10,000. The budget recommends giving the organization $5,000 out of Community Development Block Grant funding, a federal program. Development Director Ashley Greene said the funds would be used for local disaster response.
“We have and will continue to be strong partners of the city,” Greene said. “We are very happy to continue our partnership with the city in serving Suffolk citizens with life-saving services.”
Following is a complete list of the recommendations for organizations that requested money this year:
South Hampton Roads Resource Conservation and Development Council
Habitat for Humanity
Recommended: $0 ($15,000 CDBG)
Suffolk Nansemond Historic Society
Substance Abuse and Youth Council
ForKids Suffolk House
Recommended: $0 ($30,000 CDBG)
Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia
The Genieve Shelter
Recommended: $0 ($30,000 CDBG)
Endependence Center, Inc.
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Suffolk Fine Arts Commission
Suffolk Clean Community Commission
Sister Cities Commission
Peanut Soil and Water Conservation District
The Children’s Center
Suffolk Festivals, Inc.
Virginia Legal Aid Society
Western Tidewater Free Clinic
Recommended: $74,370 ($25,630 CDBG)
American Red Cross
Recommended: $0 ($5,000 CDBG)
Bennett’s Creek Little League
King’s Kids of America
Nansemond-Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad
Pruden Center Foundation