In the middle of the budget season, town staff fielded requests from 15 nonprofit agencies for donations totaling $128,689.
During fiscal year 2014, the town contributed a total of $119,062 to the same number of organizations. This current fiscal year – 2015 – the town will have donated an estimated total of $116,893.
For the upcoming budget, the town’s contributions are about the same. However, Town Manager Seth Lawless recommends a total of $96,739 in the upcoming budget proposal, moving an annual contribution to the KRX bus service to a different part of the budget.
This year, the town denied two new requests including Northside Compassion Project, LLC and Highway 17 Association that advocates for improvements for I-495.
Led by Rev. Adrian Dixon at Northside Community Church, the Northside Compassion Project requested funds for a transitional house aimed at single-parent, Knightdale residents who have graduated from recovery programs.
“The Northside request came in after we talked about it at budget committee, so I didn’t recommend it one way or another,” Lawless said.
“The Highway 17 group as I told the council, the reason we are not participating in that is because I-495 is designed to interstate standards all the way east of Knightdale, so there’s no reason to get involved,” he said.
Instead, the town continued to contribute to other local or countywide projects. Highlights include including $2,500 to the Wake Tech Foundation and scholarships for two Knightdale high school students, $1,500 to the African American Cultural Festival in Raleigh, where Councilman James Roberson formerly served as chair.
The largest donations from the town funnel to East Wake Television, whose $56,839 request was granted and the United Arts Council of Raleigh, which Lawless recommended the town give their full $8,000 request.
Organizations that the town annually contributes to include the Poe Center for a student health initiative, rehabilitation center Club Horizon, Hospice of Wake County for their school-based GriefCare program, Communities in Schools, the East Wake Education Foundation, the Knightdale Chamber of Commerce and Community Helpers Service Center, among others.
The Knightdale Business Alliance chose not to request funds this year. In addition, the town moved their $32,906 contribution to the East Wake Express Support Triangle Transit Authority for the KRX bus service from their donations line to their development services operating budget.
Lawless will present the draft budget at the June 1 town meeting, and the council is expected to approve it June 17.