GREENSBURG – The Greensburg City Council on Monday approved most of the $170,000 in funding requests it had received from nonprofit organizations last week, but council members also clashed on some of the amounts the organizations had requested.
Councilman Jamie Cain, a Republican representing District 3, repeatedly questioned the amounts requested by some of the organizations and voted against giving the requested amounts to a local domestic violence shelter and a local soup kitchen.
Cain said that a $20,000 request from New Directions, a center for victims of abuse, was too high, and he would prefer giving $10,000.
“We have to start pushing back to make them more self-sufficient,” Cain said. “We have to start scrutinizing the money they spend.”
Diane Moore, executive director of New Directions, had said in last week’s meeting that the need for funding remains high, as the agency in 2013 served a larger number of primary and secondary victims than in the prior year.
Cain did not attend last week’s meeting, in which the organizations explained their funding requests and answered Council members’ questions.
Councilman Glenn Tebbe, a Democrat and at-large member, said that New Directions had provided evidence about providing a real service in times of crisis, and that the Council had received statements from the Greensburg Police Department about the organization’s importance.
Mayor Gary Herbert, too, said that he has seen the organization’s impact and that it saves money for the police department, jail and court system.
Both Herbert and Tebbe suggested providing the full amount, to provide $15,000 right away with an option for New Directions to return for an additional $5,000 from the city’s share of Riverboat gambling dollars, which, Tebbe pointed out, is not coming out of local taxpayers’ pockets.
Cain said, however, that the money could be used for other things.