Non-profit funding uncertain - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Non-profit funding uncertain

Committee will review requests for nearly $500,000

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Posted: Tuesday, April 7, 2009 11:00 pm | Updated: 1:25 pm, Mon Apr 18, 2011.

All told, 18 non-profit groups — ranging from paralyzed veterans to an arts council — seek nearly $500,000 from Oro Valley in fiscal 2010, which begins July 1.

The town, which faces a projected $5.2-million shortfall in the coming year, has precious few dollars to spread around, according to officials.

Still, "there is a need to fund these organizations," Town Manager David Andrews said Monday.

Several representatives from the non-profits seeking town support attended a study session this week as the council began discussing its fiscal 2010 budget plans.

After an hour’s discussion of the group's fiscal 2010 requests, which total $487,154, the council agreed to refer the proposals to a subcommittee for further review.

In the coming weeks, council members Bill Garner and Salette Latas will meet to hear each group’s proposal. The pair will then forward spending recommendations to the council.

Andrews recommends giving $403,504 — or about 17 percent less than requested — to the various community groups.

The town manager wants to reduce the $160,000 request from the Metropolitan Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau to $120,000.

Andrews also wants to hold fiscal 2010 funding for the economic development group Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities Inc., to $50,000 — $10,000 less than the group has requested.

One other large recipient of town funding, the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council, seeks about 20 percent less in fiscal 2010. The arts group wants about $99,000 in town funding, down from the $120,000 it received this fiscal year.

"GOVAC in many ways made it easy," Andrews said, noting its reduced request.

Andrews deemed most of the requests for funding "nominal," when compared to the town's overall proposed $120-million spending plan.

Councilman Al Kunisch expressed concern about agreeing to fund any of the groups given the town's projected financial troubles.

"How many jobs is that? It's about eight jobs," Kunisch said.

The town manager has proposed laying off more than 30 employees in fiscal 2010.

"I think we should defer (this) and see what we have left to spend," Kunisch suggested.

Garner wondered why the town manager didn't trim the requests from all groups. Eighteen seek town money, though Andrews recommends funding 14 of the groups.

"Why not chop a little bit off the top for all them?" Garner asked. "Why pick and choose?"

Andrews said that the council could alter the amounts, but that when making his spending recommendations, he "really tried to maintain a little of the status quo."

Several of the groups that seek town money had not applied for it before, Andrews explained.

When compiling his proposed fiscal 2010 spending plan, Andrews decided not allot money for community groups the town had not previously funded.

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