Non-profits next on chopping block
In an effort to further reduce expenditures in the 2013 budget, the Summit County Council turned to non-profits for the next round of potential cuts during their Monday budget discussion.
In the meantime, Christian Center of Park City Executive Director Rob Harter attended the meeting to request an additional $20,000 above the $10,000 received in previous years
"As we’ve grown, our budget keeps going up and our needs continue to go up, which is why we want you to at least consider upping the scholarship grant," Harter said. "We would like to expand our storage capacity. Refrigeration is quite expensive. We also need to expand our corral. We are getting offsite storage because we don’t have enough room in our current space to store all the food we have."
Harter said they are looking at $10,000 just to cover refrigeration expansion, and a minimum of $15,000 for a walk-in refrigerator.
County Manager Bob Jasper said he doesn’t want to donate to a walk-in freezer, but would prefer a contract stipulating that the organization will feed x people for x dollars.
"That’s something we can measure, and we don’t end up with collateral ownership of some equipment," Jasper said. "We would essentially buy the distribution of food of some value to so many people."
Regardless, the County Council members said, that in light of the budget, they don’t intend to increase any of the non-profit grants, including that of the Christian Center.
"I don’t think we’re going to increase anything," Councilmember Claudia McMullin said. "The question is whether we are going to decrease them across-the-board or as individual groups. But to make a decision for an across-the-board cut for all the non-profits is not very impactful."
McMullin added that while they could look at the organizations individually, they don’t have any basis to make decisions because they don’t know what the requested money is for.
"My struggle is that not only are we put in a terrible position, but we don’t know what these numbers represent," she said. "We don’t know what the request is for. We don’t know what services are being asked for."
Kim Carson, who will be coming on board as a councilmember in 2013, responded that while an across-the-board cut might not be "impactful" to the county’s budget, the cuts could drastically impact a particular organization.
Councilmember John Hanrahan said his gripe every year is having to choose which valuable non-profits to fund.
"It’s difficult, if not impossible to do," he said. "We need to remove this process next year entirely, and do everything by contract. There is no way we can say, we’re going to give $10,000 because you are more meaningful than this group."
Assistant County Manager Anita Lewis said she would provide the County Council with information from the non-profit applications, including narratives explaining why the organizations feel they need funding from the county.
The County Council agreed to wait for additional information before making any decisions regarding non-profit funding.
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