By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Most outside agencies seeking funds from Warren County in the fiscal 2013 budget haven't changed their requests from last year, but three are looking for a significant increase.
The budget requests from the 28 outside agencies will be discussed tonight at 7 p.m. at a Board of Supervisors work session in the County Government Center caucus room.
The Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging hopes to increase its funds from the county by 75 percent, from $40,000 to $70,000. In it's budget submission form, the agency cited several reasons for the request, mainly to "manage the financial recovery of SAAA with the goal of paying all past debt by September 2013."
SAAA has been rocked by disclosures of financial irregularities that led to the dismissal of three top officials as well as civil suits and a state police investigation.
Agency officials also said that the increased funding would help reduce the number of residents on waiting lists for "crucial in-home support services," which include the Meals on Wheels service, personal care and housekeeping assistance.
House of Hope, an agency that provides services to address the causes of homelessness, is requesting $10,000, a 100 percent increase from the current budget allocation of $5,000. The agency provides shelter, case managers and life skills workshops to qualifying individuals. Residents must be drug- and alcohol- free, and sex offenders are not accepted.
In 2010, House of Hope had to downsize, and lost eight beds due to budget limitations. According to its budget submission, the agency requested additional funds for the upcoming fiscal year because of returning veterans. "The need for House of Hope services is urgent and undeniable," it states.
The president of the House of Hope's board, Sigrid Hepp-Dax, also wrote to county officials addressing the request.
"We have no paid staff. We are primarily a working board with a few volunteers," he said. According to the submission, a "more professional staff" is needed to meet the agency's upcoming goals and objectives.
Also, the Browntown Community Center is requesting $5,000, a 150 percent increase from last year's budget of $2,000. The center serves as a meeting place, playground for children and polling place for voters. It also houses a small museum and hosts events throughout the year.
The center cites costs associated with repairs as a major reason for the higher budget request.
"The center itself is an historic building with a unique set of maintenance and repair requirements," says the department description of the budget submission.
According to the justification for the increase, the agency does have income that covers heating, insurance and routine maintenance expenses. However, "additional funds from the county will allow us to keep the center on a sound financial basis."