Outside agencies will receive 10 percent less
Published 7:44 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2015
All of the outside agencies that received funds from the City of Washington for the current fiscal year will receive funding in the upcoming fiscal year, only that funding will be 10 percent less than their current allocations.
The City Council made that decision during its budget session Tuesday night.
The council also moved the Beaufort County Arts Council, Washington Harbor District Alliance, North Carolina Estuarium and Washington Christmas parade (organized by the Washington Kiwanis) from the outside agencies category into a downtown economic development fund.
Funding for those four recipients will come from revenue transferred from enterprise funds such as water and sewer. Funding for the outside agencies (such as the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club, Zion Shelter and Purpose of God Annex) comes from the city’s general fund.
The council voted 4-1 to approve a substitute motion offered by Councilman Larry Beeman to fund the Washington Harbor District Alliance at $55,800, the Estuarium at $18,000, the arts council at $14,400 and the Christmas parade at $1,350 in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1. The total allocation comes to $89,500.
Those allocations represent a 10-percent reduction in their current appropriations. Councilman Doug Mercer voted against the motion, but council members Richard Brooks, William Pitt, Bobby Roberson and Beeman voted for it.
Because the substitute motion became the primary motion, the council, under its procedures, was required to vote on it. It was approved by the same 4-1 vote.
Mercer had offered an initial motion that called for placing the Beaufort County Arts Council, Washington Harbor District Alliance, North Carolina Estuarium and Washington Christmas parade into a $75,000 downtown economic development fund. The motion called for allocating $20,000 to the Beaufort County Arts Council, Washington Harbor District Alliance and North Carolina Estuarium, appropriating $1,500 to the Washington Christmas parade and putting the remaining $13,500 into a contingency fund.
There was some consideration not to fund the outside agencies in the upcoming budget. Mayor Mac Hodges made a plea to not drastically reduce funding for the Washington Harbor District Alliance, saying it has been instrumental in reviving downtown Washington.
Before the council made the changes, the proposed budget called for providing $105,550 to the outside agencies, including those moved to the downtown economic development fund.
The council also voted unanimously not to adopt the proposed expansion budget included in City Manager Brian Alligood’s proposed budget. That decision means the city will not spend nearly $300,000 annually to expand and/or enhance some city services.