Budget offers little extra money for nonprofits

WOODSTOCK – Nonprofit groups shouldn’t expect to receive more money from Shenandoah County next year.

County Administrator Mary T. Price’s proposed budget for fiscal 2017 includes $800,121 for organizations and outside agencies. That amount reflects a 1.76-percent increase in local funding to agencies that receive annual contributions from the local coffers. However, the agencies asked for $927,192 – that’s $140,937 or 17.93 percent more than they received in this year’s budget.

The county allocated between $749,000 and $785,000 for outside agencies from fiscal 2013 through the current budget.

Price recommended that the county budget maintain the same level of funding for more agencies. The county should grant the increases in local funding for Northwestern Community Services and the Lord Fairfax Health District as requested – it doesn’t usually have much choice in how it funds the Health District or Lord Fairfax Community College. Enrollment at the college by locality determines the county’s required contribution.

Representatives from many of the outside agencies appeared before the Board of Supervisors last week to give their pitches for local funding.

In fact, the county has kept local contributions to most of the requesting agencies flat since fiscal 2013.

The Shenandoah Community Health Clinic, known also as the free clinic, requested $45,000, an increase of $15,000 or 50 percent over the current budget. Price recommended that the board keep the clinic’s contribution at $30,000. The Shenandoah Dental Clinic asked for $45,000. Price recommended that the board keep local funding the same at $5,000.

Other agencies requested the following:
• Response Inc. asked for $40,000. Price recommends leaving funding flat at $10,000.
• The Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging asked for $83,000 – the same amount it has received from the county each year since fiscal 2013.
• Concern Hotline asked for $1,500 but Price has recommended the county fund the nonprofit at $1,000, the same level as the past several fiscal years.
• Access Independence also asked for an increase from $1,000 to $1,500 but Price recommended leaving the contribution the same.
• Blue Ridge Legal Services asked for $4,887 – $1 for each county resident who would qualify for aid. Price left funding at $1,000.
• The Skyline Community Action Partnership – a Headstart program – asked for $26,184. Price did not recommend any local contribution to the agency in her budget.
• The Friends of the Shenandoah River asked for $5,000 but the budget does not include funding for the agency.
• The Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River could receive another $2,000 next fiscal year if Price’s recommendation is approved.
• The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival asked for another $5,000 next year and Price has recommended the board grant the request.
• The Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District asked for $14,000 – an increase of $1,000 over the current year. Price recommended the agency receive $13,000.
• The Northern Virginia 4-H Center asked for $1,500 as it has received in previous years and Price has recommended the board grant the request.

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