Trafford Council eliminates rec board grants
By Chris Foreman
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Organizations such as the local youth sports associations, Trafford Beautification Club, Trafford Seniors and the Theatre Factory now will have to apply to Trafford Council — not the recreation board, as has been the case — if they want a borough grant.
Acting last week on the rec board's recommendation, Trafford Council voted 5-1 to eliminate the awarding of grants through the rec board. Rita Windsor dissented, while Councilman John Daykon was absent.
Starting with the 2013 budget, council initiated an application process that requires groups to demonstrate their financial need and outline how they would use the money.
“I feel everybody should be in the same competitive pool,” Councilman Casey Shoub said.
Last year, rec board members who have since resigned complained about the new application process, which required the board to apply for its own grant from council after its had received council funding — including $6,000 in 2012 — for several years.
Community grants typically were a staple of the rec budget. In 2012, for example, the Trafford Girls Softball Association, Trafford Level Green Baseball Association and the beautification, seniors and theater groups each received $500.
Council reserved $15,000 for 2013 to give $5,000 to Trafford Emergency Medical Service and $2,500 each to Trafford Community Public Library, Trafford Economic and Community Development Corp., the Holiday Happenings committee and the Trafford-Level Green Christian Food Bank.
Council hasn't announced how much it will spend on grants in 2014, but it set a Sept. 30 application deadline.
On Monday, the rec board approved a lean 2014 budget that estimates income at $12,500, less than half of its current $24,178 account balance.
According to the rec board budget, almost half of next year's anticipated income — $6,000 — would be raised at the annual auction at Trafford Schools on Feb. 22. Most of the remaining funding would come from the borough's proceeds from a shale-drilling impact fee and a gas well in South Trafford and an annual grant from the Penn-Trafford School District.
Besides the annual fishing derby and Halloween party, the rec board's expenses will focus on park improvements, the summer playground program and other smaller programs.
Some board members also have expressed interest in a project to enhance Fairmont Park.
In March, Friends of Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission awarded the rec board a $5,000 grant toward that goal.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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