Cumberland Times-News

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July 16, 2013

Groups ask for $110K; city has $60K to offer

CUMBERLAND — Sixteen nonprofit organizations came to City Hall on Tuesday asking for a total of $110,000 in funding made available through the Allegany County Hotel/Motel Tax.

City officials announced that revenues generated from the 2013 fiscal year tax will create available funding of only $60,000.

With the nonprofits’ 2014 requests exceeding available revenues by $50,000, organizations will have to brace for lower than expected funding or none at all.

“To all the presenters today — we have requests of over $100,000 for the $60,000 we will be administering,” said David Kauffman, city councilman.

Kauffman wanted the representatives, who are given five minutes each to step to the podium and make their request, to understand the difficult decisions that will have to be made.

“I want it understood, just as a precursor, so that there is no belief that anyone is being maligned or shorted in the process,” said Kauffman.

The requests made were as follows:

• Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament, $4,000.

• Allegany Arts Council, $7,500.

• Allegany County Historical Society, $5,000.

• Allegany County Museum, $15,000.

• Allegany County Tourism, $2,000.

• Bishop Walsh girls invitational basketball tournament, $3,000.

• Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, $42,000.

• New Embassy Theatre, $6,000.

• Gilchrist Gallery, $2,500.

• Cumberland Theatre, $3,500.

• Great Allegany Run, $1,000.

• Miss Universe City, $2,000.

• Mountain Maryland Trails, $8,000.

• Mountainside Baroque, $1,500.

• Tri-State Community Schools for the Arts, $3,000.

• Queen City Performing Arts/Windsor Hall, $2,000.

Uses for the funding given by the nonprofit representatives ranged from advertising and operating expenses to maintenance costs.

In other council news, the city voted to request funding in the amount of $495,000 for capital improvement projects from a Maryland grant program known as Community Legacy.

Approval for the grant funding will be completed on a per project basis.

The city has broken down the $495,000 request into five projects.

One project is the rehabilitation of upper floors in the downtown for residential and commercial use estimated at $200,000.

Funding for signs in the historic districts will require $20,000. The city also wants $75,000 for exterior property maintenance in targeted neighborhoods.

Rounding out the Community Legacy grant request will be $100,000 for the expansion and renovation of the Friends Aware property, with an additional $100,000 requested for the demolition of blighted properties.

The mayor and council also voted to accept a Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention Safe Streets Grant of $218,469. The grant helps police with personnel, equipment and overtime costs.

The city said another grant for $110,000 was received from the Appalachian Regional Commission to assist in the rehabilitation of 301 Seymour St. which will serve as an HRDC Head Start/Early Head Start Center.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

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