Eight community partners requested nearly $673,000 from Franklin County for fiscal year 2020, which was an increase of about $16,000 from 2019.
Each of the organizations presented their requests Wednesday to the Board of Franklin County Commissioners.
“This is an opportunity for these partners to present to you,” Janet Paddock, county clerk, told the commissioners. “We will bring it back to you at a later meeting to discus [and vote on].”
Of the eight proposals, one requested a decrease and three remained even.
Here are each of the proposals:
Franklin County Conservation District: They requested $47,150, which is a $2,150 increase.
Keri Harris, district manager for the Franklin County Conservation District, explained most of the increase was for a 2.5 percent cost of living raise for their employee and $650 for business expenses.
Harris said the conservation district began giving a detailed budget to the county commissioners in 1965. She said the organization addresses soil conservation and other natural concerns.
“We are a grassroots organization who works cooperatively with local citizens to identify and address a wide arrange of environmental concerns, including agriculture and urban erosion sediment control, water quality, water quantity, range and pasture management, fish and wildlife habitat,” she said. “All to benefit the local environment and the local economy.”
Franklin County Agricultural Society (Fair Board): The fair board asked for $14,000, which is a decrease of $3,000.
Melissa Hatfield, president of Franklin County Agricultural Society, told the commissioners it was the right thing to do in decreasing their request this year.
She said there were changes for last year’s fair and more in the works for 2019. She said the Franklin County Fair, which is the longest running fair in the state, will be a day longer this year, starting the shows on Wednesday.
Hatfield said Celebration Hall will have new bathrooms constructed. She said the old bathrooms were built in 1976.
“We are looking at doing a fall BBQ contest to promote agriculture in the county and bring in additional cash revenue,” Hatfield said.
Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, Inc.: The animal shelter requested $40,776, which was the same amount as 2019.
Melissa Reed, executive director of Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, shared some of their advances in the past few years. She said the animals average length of stay was 25 days in 2018. Reed said the average stay five years ago for dogs was 45 days and cats, 85 days. She said last year there were 1,347 animals that came through the shelter with 1,140 being adopted out.
CASA of the Fourth Judicial District: The organization requested $15,000, which is the same as last year.
CASA trains community volunteers who advocate for abused and neglected youth as they navigate through the judicial system. They currently serve 2,000 people with eight volunteers and two staff.
Elizabeth Layton Center, Inc.: They requested $179,204, which is a four percent increase from 2019.
Leslie Bjork, executive director, indicated the need for mental health services continue to rise. She said ELC served 2,000 people in Franklin County during 2018.
COF Training Services, Inc.: This organization asked for $95,000, which is the same amount as 2019.
Chris Patton, executive director, said keeping the funding request the same is a goal of the organization.
“We try to do that out of respect for the county,” Patton said. “They are strained just like we are. We will continue to ask that as long as we can get by with that much.”
Franklin County Historical Society: They requested $74,550, which is a $3,550 increase from 2019.
Diana Staresinic-Deane, executive director and museum manager, expects the organization to grow in the upcoming years as the trails see more visitors along with the construction of Legacy Square.
She said the Old Depot Museum is seeing a younger crowd of visitors.
“We are seeing a lot more families and younger people...that is significant,” Staresinic-Deane said. “Our mission is to preserve and promote the history of Franklin County.”
Franklin County Services for the Elderly: They requested $207,030, which is a three percent increase from 2019.