Some agencies seek more funds from city

Published 8:10 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One outside agency doesn’t want any direct funding from Washington. Instead, it wants a credit on its utilities bills.

Eagle’s Wings Executive Director Ann-Marie Montague made that request during the Washington’s City Council meeting Monday, when several outside agencies and nonprofits made their cases for city funds. Montague said Eagle’s Wings pays about $9,000 a year to the city for the utilities it provides to the ministry that operates a local food bank.

Thirteen organizations, including outside agencies and economic development entities, have submitted requests for city funds totaling $218,150 during the upcoming fiscal year. In its current fiscal-year budget, the city allocated $159,075 for those agencies. For the most part, the city has reduced funding for the agencies each year in the past several years. The council took no action on the requests; its funding decision concerning the agencies will come later during budget work sessions.

“What I am asking you for is a credit against an over $9,000 utility bill that we pay to the City of Washington each year,” Montague said.

Agencies seeking more funding in the upcoming budget include the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club, Zion Shelter, Wright Flight and the Blind Center. The Purpose of God Outreach Center, Cornerstone Community Learning Center and Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library seek the same funding they received for this fiscal year. The library’s funding is part of a reciprocal agreement involving the city-owned Brown Library.

As for the economic development organizations, the Washington Harbor District Alliance, North Carolina Estuarium and Arts of the Pamlico each requested more money than allocated to them this fiscal year. Arts of the Pamlico received $14,400 this fiscal year. It requested $50,000 for the upcoming fiscal year. The Estuarium, which received $18,000 this fiscal year, seeks $25,000 for the next fiscal year. The Washington Harbor District Alliance, allocated $55,800 this fiscal year, requested $58,000 for the 2016-2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The Highway 17 Association, appropriated $7,500 this fiscal year, wants the same amount for the next fiscal year. The association works to have the entire length of U.S. Highway 17 in North Carolina upgraded to four lanes from Virginia to South Carolina, including the section between Washington and Williamston and the section between Chocowinity and Vanceboro. The Washington Kiwanis club wants $1,350 to spend on organizing the Washington Christmas parade for the upcoming fiscal year, the same amount it received for the current fiscal year.

Except for the Blind Center, Cornerstone Community Learning Center and BHM Library, a spokesman for each organization explained why that entity is seeking city funding and how the money would be used. In recent years, the city has required groups seeking city dollars to submit documentation detailing their programs and services.

When 96-year-old Harlan McKendrick presented the Zion Shelter’s funding request, Councilman Larry Beeman told him, “Thank you for your commitment.” McKendrick, treasurer for the shelter, has been associated with the shelter for about 30 years.





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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