Outside-agency funding may change

Published 12:55 am Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Some outside agencies will fare better under proposed changes to Washington’s recommended 2013-2014 fiscal year budget.

During its meeting Thursday, Washington’s City Council, by way of a nonbinding straw poll, indicated it’s willing to increase funding by $6,000 to the Purpose of God Annex Outreach Center so it receives $24,000, allocating $15,000 to Cornerstone Family Worship Center to help fund services it provides the community and appropriating $1,000 for Eagle’s Wings, a local food pantry that helps feed the needy.

City Manager Josh Kay’s proposed budget did not include funding for Eagle’s Wings or Cornerstone Family Worship Center’s programs.

Councilman Doug Mercer reminded the council that a year ago it decided to move toward reducing funding to outside agencies over several years, with the goal of eventually eliminating city dollars going to those agencies.

“We reduced last year. I think we need to continue those reduction efforts. There are some on here I don’t feel we ought to cut. The Zion Shelter, which is feeding hungry people. I certainly do not want to suggest reducing them below the current level,” Mercer said. “I don’t want to add anything new.”

Mayor Archie Jennings said the council has not lived up to its commitment to inform the outside agencies about the move toward eventually eliminating funding for them so they can prepare for that eventual loss of city funds.

For the current fiscal year, the city is providing a little more than $77,000 to those agencies. Kay’s recommended budget for the next fiscal year reduced that amount to a little more than $75,000. The council’s proposed changes to the proposed budget would increase that $75,000 to closer to $91,000.

“I just want to say that all of these agencies that we’ve partnered with over the years are certainly deserving. There are some, in my personal opinion, that have a decided impact in the community. Their programs, like Bishop (James S.) McIntyre’s program at Cornerstone — and that’s why I wanted to know about the success the program has experienced. Purpose of God, I think, also provides a unique function and purpose in the community. I would like to see those requests receive additional attention and funding, if we can afford it because of the impact the stated purpose that they fulfill in the community,” Jennings said.

Mercer concurred with Jennings’ suggestion to increase the Purpose of God Annex Outreach Center’s allocation to $24,000 and provide $15,000 to Cornerstone Family Worship Center.

“It’s my understanding that Purpose of God has applied, through the county, for a $300,000 grant. If that were received, I would like to have the opportunity to re-evaluate (our) allocation at that point in time,” Mercer said.

“That’s a great idea,” Jennings said. “I think that’s the partnership aspect of this. I think they would be more than understanding of that, in other words, if they receive top-level funding like they’ve applied for, then we could reconsider our funding level.”

Councilman Edward Moultrie asked for the council to allocate $1,000 for Eagle’s Wings, should that organization finds itself in need of that money.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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