City Council to consider nonprofit requests for funding



The Social Services Committee recommends funding levels for local organizations based on criteria that include the number of residents served and an agency’s “deliverables,” among others.
GRAPHIC BY KATE COUGH, INFORMATION PROVIDED BY CITY OF ELLSWORTH FINANCE DEPARTMENT

ELLSWORTH — Every year during budget season city councilors entertain requests from local agencies for grant funding.

Ellsworth takes a more formal approach to agency funding than many municipalities. Organizations are required to file an application with the city’s Social Services Committee, which ranks requests based on a set of criteria.

Applications for agencies that “assist in meeting [Ellsworth] residents’ basic life needs, including food, shelter and medical care,” are given priority.

The committee also considers how many residents the organization serves, how heavily the group relies on city funding, and whether city funding will help an agency secure matching funds from another source.

On the application side, groups are required to provide figures on their annual budgets, the percentage of the budget that goes toward administrative costs and information on other funding sources.

The policy states that the city will “give equal consideration to all social service organizations which provide basic life needs to Ellsworth residents.”

In keeping with that directive, the committee has recommended 100 percent of requested funding for just three agencies: Everybody Eats, a program provided by the Washington Hancock Community Agency that provides a free community meal to residents each week, Loaves & Fishes, a food pantry in Ellsworth, and Downeast Transportation, which offers commuter bus service in the region.

Downeast Transportation is set to receive $2,500 in city funding, Loaves & Fishes $5,000 and Everybody Eats $500.

Under the banner of cultural, recreational and community organizations, which are considered separately, the committee has recommended 100 percent of requested funding for only two agencies: the Ellsworth Garden Club and the Ellsworth Snowmobile Club. The Garden Club is slated to receive $7,000 in city money; the Snowmobile Club will likely receive $1,500.

Overall, recommended funding for social service agencies is flat-funded from last year, at $16,400. This is just shy of 21 percent of the $79,318 total that agencies requested.

Recommended funding for cultural, recreational and community organizations is down from last year, to $106,500 from $129,500. This is 81 percent of the $131,500 total that organizations had requested.

This year, the city also asked groups to provide additional detail “on how the requested city funds will be spent in terms of clearly defined activities.” They were also asked to provide information on “associated personnel and out-of-pocket costs to be supported with city funds,” and required that agencies provide lists of “deliverables” and “trackable costs” for activities supported by city funding, according to a memo from City Manager David Cole.

City councilors will discuss the funding requests, as well as the wastewater and general assistance budgets, at the next budget workshop on May 21 at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

Meetings are open to the public but are not televised.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Digital Media Strategist
Kate is the paper's Digital Media Strategist, responsible for all things social, and the occasional story too! She's a former reporter for the paper and can be reached at: [email protected]
Kate Cough

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