More than a dozen community service agencies benefit from Troy City funding

Published 9:53 pm Monday, October 12, 2020

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The City of Troy will provide more than $500,000 in funding for non-profit agencies in fiscal year 2021.

The Troy City Council approved an $80.884 million budget for fiscal year 2021. The budget, approved during a call meeting on Sept. 29, is a combination of the utilities department budget, set at $46,026,100, and the general budget, set at $34,858,432.

Within that budget are allocations to 16 community service agencies, serving populations that range from the arts to youth to mental health.

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“We’ve recommended level funding in our contract for services,” said Mayor Jason Reeves. “But again, as we have in the past, we will do an assessment of each of these agencies and how they’re using the funds.”

Reeves said the COVID-19 pandemic prevented officials from meeting with each of the agencies prior to finalizing the budget, but those in-depth reviews will take place during the next three months.

“After the first quarter (of the fiscal year), we’ll have a better feel if something. Needs to be adjusted,” he said.

Community service agencies approved for funding from the general budget include:

• Keep Troy Beautiful, $4 ,000

• Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, $12,000

•Christian Love Center, $20,000

East Central Mental Health, $135,144

• Emergency Management, $10,000

• Pioneer Museum of Alabama, $6,000

• Pike Soil & Water District, $16,000

• South Central Development Commission, $6,312

• Common Ground Troy, $15,000

• Troy Arts and Humanities, $18,000

• Pike County Chamber of Commerce, $40,000

• Troy Pike Cultural Arts, $30,000

• Christian Life, $15,000

• Pike County Health Department, $12,000

• Boys and Girls Club, $15,000

• OCAP, $46,000

The city also provides $150,000 in funding for the Pike County Economic Development Authority through the utilities budget.

Councilwoman Stephanie Baker, District 4, said she would like city officials to develop a standardized measure for evaluating the service agencies. “I want to understand their budget, how much of their budget this makes up, and how they use the city dollars,” she said. “We all know there are a lot of non-profits who would like to get city funding, but we need to let them know there is a process in place and it doesn’t just happen.

Reeves said the critical factor is the need served by each agency. “If we are doing a contract for services with an agency, they have to be fulfilling a specific need in the city,” he said. “Many of these are long-standing relationships.”

The two new agencies added in FYE21 include Christian Life and Common Ground Troy.

In addition to the funding for non-profit agencies, the FYE21 budget includes 2.5 percent step raises and a 1.3 percent cost of living increase for city employees. “I appreciate the fact you are able to give the employees a raise,” said Marcus Paramore, District 3. “We always would like to see that number higher, but it’s a good raise.”

“The fact that we were able to do that in this environment is a testament to the economy and growth of the city,” Reeves said. The city employees nearly 400 full- and part-time workers, and the budget also includes the adjustments for shifting Tier II employees to Tier 1 for retirement benefit purposes.

Reeves said in drafting the budget, he and city clerk Shannon Bryan used a “conservative” estimate of 5 percent growth in sales tax revenue. “We’ll have to see how this year winds up, but we’ve been averaging 8 to 9 percent growth during fiscal year 2020.”

The budget does not include any additional staffing for Troy Police or Troy Fire Department, but “there are unfilled slots in both those departments in the budget and we are working to fill those,” Reeves said.