With some concerns over sales tax revenue losses resulting from the COVID-19 economic impacts, Mineral Wells City Council members Regan Johnson and Doyle Light on Tuesday forwarded their recommendations for funding non-profit organizations in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Thirteen applications totaling $160,700 in requests were received during the February application period, according to city officials. Johnson and Doyle created three funding tiers and placed the applications in those tiers, recommending seven Tier I funding requests totaling $77,000.
This year's requests nearly doubled the non-profit funding requests made a year ago. Nearly all organizations have seen an increase in clients and services in recent weeks, while funding has decreased for most.
The Tier I organizations are involved in supplying food and services to the community, especially for at-risk children. The seven recommended funding requests were:
• Back Pack Buddies of Mineral Wells – $10,000.
• Meals on Wheels of Palo Pinto County – $10,000.
• Mineral Wells Senior Center – $32,500.
• New Haven Helping Hands – $10,000.
• Mineral Wells Center of Life – $2,500.
• Children's Alliance Center for Palo Pinto County – $7,000.
• CASA-Hope For Children – $5,000.
Groups making funding requests not recommended for approval were: Addiction Recovery Ministries ($2,500); Palo Pinto County Humane Society ($3,000); Change (non-specified); Mineral Wells Optimist Youth Fund ($8,000); Mineral Wells Youth Sports Association (non-specified); United Way of Palo Pinto County.
"We may not even be able to do as much as we are recommending," Light said. "I hope that is not the case."
"It was tough looking at youth sports without knowing if they were going to have an option to have youth sports," said Johnson.
The funding recommendations will be further discussed and acted on as council and city staff move into next fiscal year's budget discussions. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.
Mayor Tammy Underwood thanked Light and Johnson for their work and recommendations.
"We believe in every non-profit on this list. It is hard to pick and choose," she said.
Councilman Brian Shoemaker said he liked the tiered system and supported the recommendations.
"I have been tasked with that before and it is a difficult job," said Ward 1 Councilman Jerrel Tomlin. "You can't give everyone all that they need."
Tomlin said he has been active with ARM since its inception and hoped that organization and others placed in the second tier can receive funding consideration.
"That Tier II is an important area as well," Tomlin said.
Back Pack Buddies is an example of a local organization that has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis, burning through finances in order to provide three times the number of weekend snack packs since Mineral Wells ISD closed campuses in March and began serving weekday meals at Travis Elementary School.
"It was considerable more difficult this year after watching these agencies step up and take care of our community," Light said.
Ward 3 Councilwoman Beth Watson moved to accept the funding committee's recommendations. Shoemaker seconded and council voted 6-0 to accept them for consideration.
Most city board and commissions terms ended at the end of March, meaning new appointments and re-appointments were needed. Most of the board have not met over the past couple of months because of VOVID-19 restrictions.
The Mayor’s Committee on Boards and Commissions consisting of Underwood and Tomlin reviewed the various expirations and applications and made the following recommendations, which were unanimously approved Tuesday by council:
• Airport Advisory Board: Reappointments of Roger Smith, Robert Upham and Chuck Hamilton to new terms expiring March 31, 2022.
• Animal Shelter Advisory Committee: Reappointment of Crystal Cameron as the Animal Welfare Organization Representative to a new term expiring March 31, 2021, and Neal Davis as the Municipal Officer Representative to a new term expiring March 31, 2021. Also the new appointment of Teresa Sumrall as the Animal Shelter Representative to a new term expiring March 31, 2021.
• Board of Adjustment/Building and Standards Commission: Reappointments of Kenneth Drew, Myra Johnson and Jonathan Rusher to new terms expiring March 31, 2022.
• Boyce Ditto Public Library Advisory Board: Reappointments of Marilyn Rhodes, Rachel Lively and Coralee Beasley to new three-year terms expiring March 31, 2023; and the new appointments of Sherri Lee, Kendra Fowler and Brian Nierman to terms expiring March 31, 2023.
• Fire Code Board of Appeals: Reappointments of Kathryn McLaughlin, Tommy Blissitte and Erik Blackwell to new terms expiring March 31, 2022.
• Planning and Zoning Commission: Reappointments of Mark Berry, Jeff Cowan, Glenn Mitchell and Richard Ball to new terms expiring March 31, 2022.
• Woodland Park Cemetery Board of Trustees: Reappointments of members Marcelinda Williams and Wanda Rusher to new terms expiring March 31, 2022.