Who will rise to the challenge?

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How many times have we heard “put your money where your mouth is”?

Well, a quick glance at the Pike County Commission’s budget offers the opportunity to check just that, particularly in a close review of the special fund appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year.

The commission is required to set aside $150,000 of its sales tax revenue collected from the 1-cent sales tax reallocation made in 2007 for funding local non-profit organizations. Last year, 18 agencies (including three nutrition centers) were funded; this year, 20 were funded. Here’s the breakdown, with fiscal year 2008-2009 appropriations listed first, last year’s funding listed in parenthesis.

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Pike County Economic Development Corporation, $25,000 (Last year, same)

Nutrition Centers: Troy, $10,000 (same); Brundidge, $5,000 (same), and Goshen, $5,000 (same)

USDA/Soil and Water, $10,000. (same).

East Central Mental Health, $10,000 (same)

Organized Community Action Program (OCAP), $10,000 (same)

Pike County Chamber of Commerce, $10,000 (same)

Pike County Extension Office, $10,000 (same)

Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center, $10,000 (same)

Pike County Big Brothers-Big Sisters, $10,000 (same)

Cultural Arts Center, $10,000 (same)

Pike Library Cooperative, $5,000 (same)

Colley Senior Complex, $5,000 ($8,000)

Pike County Humane Society, $3,000 (same)

Pioneer Museum of Alabama, $3,000 (same)

Pike County RSVP, $2,500 ($0)

Pike Animal Shelter, $2,500 ($0)

Troy Arts Council, $2,000 ($3,000)

Brundidge Historical Society, $2,000 ($3,000)

The commissioners approved the budget, and now we challenge them to find a way to keep the Colley Senior Complex, Troy Arts Council and Brundidge Historical Society “whole” in regards to county funding. After all, the commissioners voted – in a split decision – to give themselves a 130 percent increase in their discretionary funds this budget year. That’s an additional $2,600 per commissioner, or a total increase of $15,600. If each commissioner agreed to step up and donate only $834 each from that fund, together they could replace the lost funding to the agencies.

It’s a move that could be the proverbial win-win for all involved.

Will anyone rise to the challenge?