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Nonprofits will compete for city funding

By DAVID TEWES
Sept. 15, 2010 at 4:15 a.m.


Difference in BudgetAgencies funded in the current budget, but not the new one, include everything from the Theatre Victoria and the Victoria Regional Museum Association to the Victoria Bach Festival and the Children's Discovery Museum.

Victoria's nonprofit agencies already struggling to get funding because of the economy may run into another roadblock.

As in the past, those that get money from the city will have to apply again and compete with each other for the limited funding.

The same economy that might cut into city funding for the nonprofit groups could make the competition even tougher.

"We're assuming the same number of nonprofits will be requesting money this year," Council Member Gabriel Soliz said. "There could easily be twice as many."

Joe Baugh with the Cultural Council of Victoria said losing the city funding would be a tremendous problem. He said the city has funded the agency for 30 years.

"The last two years they have made drastic cuts and we've lived with it," he said. "I have no idea how we will cope, but we will cope."

The budget adopted by the city council Tuesday and which takes effect Oct. 1 forecasts the motel tax used to fund the non-profit agencies will produce $1 million.

"The lion's share is going to be dedicated to the convention and visitors bureau," Soliz said. "Another significant portion is going to go to the Main Street program."

The convention and visitors bureau is slated to get $750,000, the Main Street program $65,050 and the community center $184,950. That would leave nothing for others.

Baugh said he figured the cultural council's funding would be cut if the Main Street program got funded.

"We're already under a strain," he said. "Every nonprofit in town is under a strain to get funding."

Council Member Denise Rangel and Soliz said it's possible there will be enough money in the hotel tax fund balance for the nonprofit groups, although there are no guarantees. The fund balance is usually reserved for unexpected expenses, such as storm damage.

The council has discussed having the agencies apply for money in October. It could decide in December if any of the applicants will get funded and how much.

Rangel said the nonprofit groups should not rely on the city for a consistent source of funding, because the amount amount could change every year.

"There is X amount of money that will be divvied up," she said. "This year, it might be a little more difficult than in future years."

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