The highly contested $82,000 in Community Foundation money is included in the reserves of the fiscal year 2013 county budget, unanimously approved on its second reading Wednesday by Fiscal Court members.
While the Community Foundation funds were placed in reserves, commissioners decided to again accept proposals from non-profit groups — although the funds may not be awarded.
As the budget currently stands, Fiscal Court members will not award that money to requesting non-profits this summer. After discussion initiated by Commissioner Rick Smith later in the meeting, commissioners decided to extend the deadline for local non-profit organizations to request Community Foundation funding, in case commissioners later vote to release the $82,000.
Deputy Judge-Executive Liz Elswick will re-advertise a public notice in the newspaper that local non-profits can submit letters of intent stating how much money they are requesting and for what purpose, along with proof of their 501(c)(3) status to the Judge-Executive’s Office.
“And we’re doing this only because people did not understand that this may or may not still happen,” Commissioner JoEllen Reed said. “We’re just evening the playing field.”
The deadline to submit requests will be 30 days after the public notice appears in the newspaper. Groups that already submitted materials do not have to resubmit them.
This year, non-profits can continue requesting funds for operating expenses, but next year, requesting agencies must demonstrate that the funds would be used for a special project.
Judge-Executive Henry Branham said that if the court members later vote to release any or all of the $82,000 in Community Foundation money, they would have to do so through a budget amendment or transfer.
“We could still go on out (with the application process), and then at the very end, the Fiscal Court could say, ‘No, we’re not going to give it out this year,’” Branham said.
Branham, who at an April 18 budget workshop asked commissioners not to distribute the Community Foundation funds if they chose not to include pay raises for county employees in the budget, said if the court moves along with the application process but ends up still not giving out any of the money, the blow could be twice as bad.
The 2013 budget projects a surplus of about $400,000.
“We will get that signed and back, and that will put us in compliance for next fiscal year,” Branham said.
The budget projects total receipts of $15.98 million, and budget expenses of $15.58 million.
The general fund is projected to have a $1.43 million surplus at the end of next year, with receipts at $12.83 million and expenses at $11.4 million.
The jail fund is expected to have a $1.03 million deficit. The county will have to make up that deficit from its general fund, and that amount is included in the general fund’s projected numbers.
The road fund, the Local Government Economic Assistance fund and the special reserve fund should be balanced.
In other business, the Fiscal Court heard an update from Clark County Coroner Robert Gayheart on the process of building a new morgue, and members decided to send out a design-and-build bid to get ideas of what a new building would cost.
“So our next step is to put it out, (and) see what comes back,” Reed said. “And we don’t have to accept any of it if we don’t like what we get.”
Contact Katie Perkowski at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter, @TheSunKatie.