By Kara Lopp
Mint Hill will give $340,700 to 11 local nonprofits – $186,025 less than the request total – from the town’s 2013-14 fiscal year budget.
Nonprofits can request budget support from the town, and this year organizations requested in all $526,725. Town Manager Brian Welch recommended only a portion of that and town commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday, April 23, to approve his recommendations. Commissioners met for the first budget workshop for the 2013-14 fiscal year where departments presented their budget requests.
Welch will compile his recommended budget and another workshop will be set, likely in about a month, he said. A copy of the proposed budget will then be made available for the public to see, and a public hearing will be held. A final budget must be approved by July 1.
Copies of the proposed budget, when complete, will be available at Mint Hill’s town hall, 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane.
Matthews commissioners will get their first peek at the town manager’s proposed budget during a 5:30 p.m. meeting Monday, May 13. A budget workshop is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, May 20 and a public hearing will be held on the proposed budget at 7 p.m. Monday, May 28.
All budget meetings are open to the public.
Here’s a breakdown of this year’s Mint Hill requests from local nonprofits:
Mint Hill Athletic Association
The Mint Hill Athletic Association provides baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, football and cheerleading seasons for kids 4 to 18. The association got $60,000 from football and cheerleading seasons for kids 4 to 18. The association got $60,000 from the town last year, which made up 18 percent of the group’s 2012-13 budget.
Along with helping keep costs down for families that take part in the association’s seasons, as well as offering scholarships for children in need, the group would use part of the town’s money for capital improvements to its 32-acre facility and operational expenses.
Mint Hill Historical Society
The Mint Hill Historical Society again asked for much more money than commissioners approved giving, after having asked for $200,000 last year – they got $60,000 then, too. That made up 60 percent of the society’s funding last year.
The society preserves artifacts of the town’s history and uses that for educational opportunities with kids and adults. The $175,000 the group asked for this year would have allowed the society to: continue construction to build a barn to hold demonstrations and gatherings; build housing for a restored tractor and other artifacts in storage; restore the onsite woodwright’s shop and hire additional staff to support increased attendance, including a Farmers Market Master.
Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department
The Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department serves both Matthews and Mint Hill, and $30,000 of this year’s amount will go toward the final payment of a new fire engine. The contribution represents 35 percent of the department’s budget.
Levine Senior Center
The Levine Senior Center offers free health and wellness programs and classes to seniors, ages 50 and older, many of whom have health-related issues with arthritis, limited mobility and balance. Roughly 22 percent of the people served by the center live in Mint Hill. This year’s allocation is a $5,000 reduction from what commissioners approved for last year. The center received $5,000 in the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to the center’s grant application.
Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care
Blessed Assurance provides services to area veterans, seniors and special needs adults. The nonprofit provides meals, healthcare services and activities for clients during the day while caregivers are at work. The nonprofit planned to use the money for operational expenses and costs including meals and healthcare services.
Town commissioners voted to approved Welch’s recommendation they not be funded because, according to Welch, the group didn’t meet the qualifications for a sustaining grant, used to cover operating expenses. Blessed Assurance did not apply for funding last year and didn’t receive anything from the town in the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to the grant application. If the nonprofit had submitted a grant requesting money for a specific project, the outcome could have been different, Welch said.
Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce
The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce asked the town for $34,000 more than last year’s allocation of $6,000. The significant increase – representing 45 percent of the group’s budget – was needed for rent, utilities, salary and increased marketing and events, according to the grant application. The group plans to launch a new website and was seeking additional funds for that project.
Generation Nation/Kids Voting Mecklenburg
The group educates children about government, leaders and citizens and holds mock votes and presentations in schools across the area. The group offers these programs to some 7,500 local students and teachers.
The money will make up about 2 percent of the group’s budget next year, according to the grant application.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4059
The local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars plans to use money from the town to replace failing kitchen appliances, many of which are more than 50 years old, according to the grant application. The post provides a meeting place for local veterans and assists local families in need, provides a color guard and offers hospital visits for veterans. The nonprofit has an annual budget of $20,000.
Mint Hill Arts
Mint Hill Arts will receive the same amount the town has provided each year for the past two years. The nonprofit provides art classes, monthly exhibits and more to area children and adults. Those amounts made up 11 percent of the organization’s budget each year, according to the grant application.
Youth Football Club of Mint Hill
This is the first time the six-year organization requested funding from the town. The club provides a traveling football team and cheerleading squad for children ages 4 to 14. The nonprofit plans to use town funding to buy new equipment and provide scholarships for children who can’t afford to join the program.
This was the first grant application for the recently-created Pottery 51. The nonprofit is an arts community which offers classes for kids and adults and a gallery where the public can purchase pottery made in Mint Hill.
The nonprofit plans to use town funding to buy a computer, provide wireless Internet service, install a phone line and answering machine and buy more glass display cases to be used around town. The nonprofit also plans to publish a booklet of Pottery 51 potters which would be available to the public for free.