Nonprofits, agencies seek local funding

Nearly a dozen nonprofits and agencies have asked Warren County for more money in the next fiscal budget.

The Board of Supervisors this week heard from representatives of outside agencies that receive contributions from the county. The board also received new requests or from agencies not allocated contributions in the fiscal 2015 budget. Agencies submitted financial information to the county such as audits and proposed fiscal 2016 budgets along with letters justifying their requests.

The county has received requests from 25 agencies totaling $1.17 million – a 12.63 percent increase over the $1.04 million included in the fiscal 2015 budget.

Chairman Richard Traczyk commented Thursday that supervisors, at this point, listen to all requests from outside agencies as well as those of the School Board and other entities.

“When all the requests are presented we begin to look at the county income and then determine what requests we can grant and how to balance the budget,” Traczyk said. “Not all are happy about the end result, but we must keep our expenditures in line with our income.”

The total requests might make up a fraction of the county’s budget but the revenue and budget might only increase by 2-4 percent, County Administrator Doug Stanley said.

“So the board will have to make valued decisions on where that money can be spent,” Stanley said. “These are all worthy organizations and … they do a lot of great work in the Front Royal-Warren County community. Unfortunately, the board doesn’t have the ability to typically fund every request [at] the full amount.”

Samuels Library, for example, has requested more money in fiscal 2016. In her justification letter, Library Director Nicki McGuire Lynch states the “ongoing economic uncertainty” prompted the facility’s leadership to scale back its fiscal 2016 request. The Board of Trustees will revisit the library’s priorities – opening on Sundays and replacing technology – as the economy improves.

The library expects to see a large cut in some state funding, McGuire Lynch said Thursday. The increase in its request for local funds is to help the library cover its operating costs, the director said. The library continues to raise funds on its own and collect donations.

“We just want to be able to say ‘yes, that we can keep our employees and keep the library open,'” McGuire Lynch said.

The board will hold a work session to further discuss and consider the outside agencies’ requests, Stanley said Thursday. That likely would happen once officials and the board get a better picture of next year’s revenue forecast, Stanley said.

Requests for more money compared to the budgeted amount:

  • $930,425 for Samuels Library – a 6.33-percent increase over $875,000
  • $35,000 for Blue Ridge Opportunities – a 40-percent increase over $25,000
  • $10,000 for House of Hope homeless shelter – a 17.65-percent over $8,500
  • $6,250 for the Warren Coalition – a 25-percent increase over $5,000
  • $4,500 for Apple Valley Mediation – a 50-percent increase over $3,000
  • $8,500 for St. Luke’s Community Clinic – a 6.25-percent increase over $8,000
  • $5,000 for Friends of the Shenandoah River – a 25-percent increase over $4,000
  • $10,000 for the Blue Ridge Arts Council, Inc. – a 100-percent increase over $5,000
  • $5,000 for the Browntown Community Center – a 150-percent increase over $2,000
  • $12,000 for the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation – a 20-percent increase over $10,000
  • $7,000 for the Middletown Fire and Rescue – a 7.69-percent increase over $6,500
  • $4,000 for Concern Hotline – a 33.33-percent increase over $3,000

New requests or agencies that did not receive funding in the budget:

  • $10,000 for the Phoenix Project
  • $19,585 for Skyline CAP Head Start
  • $2,500 for Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • $5,000 for Winchester Regional Airport
  • $15,000 for the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum

Agencies that have asked for the same amount provided in the current budget:

  • $15,000 for Help With Housing
  • $3,200 for Access Independence
  • $3,812 for Blue Ridge Legal Services
  • $13,472 for the Lord Fairfax EMS Council Inc.
  • $3,000 for the ARC of Warren County
  • $3,000 for the Northern Virginia 4-H
  • $5,000 for the Front Royal Children’s Center

Lord Fairfax Community College has asked for $39,399 – 7.09-percent less than the $42,404 budgeted. Local funding for the college and the conservation district also provided by other jurisdictions is based on formulas.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com