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Groups seeking funds need to show financial statements

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Organizations looking to get funding from Baldwin Borough for their community event or fire company will have to turn over a financial statement if they want to see the money.

Baldwin Council members in a 6-0 vote on Tuesday agreed to set a policy that would require borough organizations seeking borough funding to submit a financial statement and detailed list of how they plan to use the funds from the municipality before Sept. 1 of each year.

Councilman John “Butch” Ferris was absent.

“We have oversight of the general fund and we want to make sure that all of the taxpayer dollars — no matter where they are going — are spent wisely,” council President Michael Stelmasczyk said.

The decision comes on the heels of a request by borough council in the last several months for financial documents from the Baldwin Borough Community Day Association, which the borough in the past has given about $7,500 a year to run the event.

Borough leaders on Tuesday said they want to know how much organizations, like the Community Day Association, or volunteer fire companies, have in the bank, before they donate.

Community Day Association leaders submitted what Councilman Francis Scott called a “balance sheet” to borough leaders regarding their finances. Baldwin Council members said they want more details than what was provided.

“I'm just wondering why this year, we're like, ‘hey now, show me the money.' But no one's ever said anything for the last 30 years,” said association director Frank Schrello, who said the group is a nonprofit, but did not have figures detailing how much is in its bank account.

Stelmasczyk said the move came after some organizations have been reluctant to share financial information with borough leaders, yet sought borough funding.

Schrello approached council on Tuesday with a request from the Baldwin Borough Community Day Association to hold the annual event on June 6, 2015, saying that he did not think organization leaders “could scramble right now and have a good showing” for an event this year.

Baldwin Borough leaders said they'd still like to have a community day later this year, if the event can be well organized.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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