In preparation for the upcoming budget, nonprofit and civic agencies in Tullahoma have made their annual funding requests to the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
In total, the agencies and organizations have requested more than $130,000 from the city.
Each year the budget-planning process for the city see funding requests from myriad agencies and groups, including Tullahoma City Schools and various nonprofit agencies like the Tullahoma Area Chamber of Commerce. In total, the nongovernmental agencies have requested $134,403 in funding from the city for the upcoming budget year.
Six different tourism and cultural organizations submitted budget requests at the March 11 city board meeting, including the chamber, Hands-On Science Center, Tennessee Backroads Heritage and South Jackson Civic Center.
According to city budget documents, these agencies receive a portion of the city’s hotel/motel tax revenue. According to Executive Director Hope Sartain, the chamber receives 12 percent of the city’s hotel/motel tax revenue and has requested that number remain the same for the coming fiscal year.
Nongovernmental agencies typically receive a fraction of the overall city budget, though that doesn’t stop some agencies for requesting more money each year.
For instance, the Tullahoma Art Center as requested a 57-percent increase in its funding, asking for $24,604 for the coming year. In Fiscal Year 2018, TAC was budgeted to receive $14,861, though its actual expenses were higher at $16,539.
The Art Center’s FY19 budget request was $20,000, though it only received $15,604, according to budget documents from the city.
According to a letter sent to the city board from the TAC board of directors, the increased funding request this time around comes as the center seeks to cover a number of construction and renovation projects at its South Jackson Street building.
According to the letter, the already aged building has suffered water-related damage due to the heavy rains of February. Some of the repairs the board of directors is hoping to make include installing new curtain drains around the building perimeter, roofing and gutter repairs and interior repairs such as repainting and resealing.
These repairs, according to the letter from the board, could significantly improve the “structural integrity of our historic building” and allow it to “[stand] tall far into the future.”
Other requests from tourism agencies include a 2.5 percent increase in funding for Hands-On Science Center. The center has requested $8,000 for FY20.
The money received from the city is continuously used to offer free demonstrations and admission to school groups from Tullahoma City Schools, according to a memo sent by Executive Director Sean Amidon.
The other nongovernmental agencies receiving funding from the city in the past include the Civil Air Patrol, Coffee County Health Department, Coffee County Lannom Library, Coffee County Senior Citizens Inc., Community Playhouse, Skills Development Services, South Central Human Resources Agency, the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center, Trinity Care Center, Tullahoma Adult Day Care and Tullahoma Sports Council, Inc.
These agencies don’t receive hotel/motel tax funds and instead receive a portion of tax revenue from the city.
Skills Development Services also has a larger request for the coming fiscal year. Executive Director Tina Jones submitted a letter to the city board respectfully requesting Tullahoma more than double its traditional funding amount.
In her letter, Jones identifies “major cuts” from TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, as one of the main sources of financial strain on her organization. She also cites new requirements mandated by the Centers for Medicaid Services as another reason for the increased funding request.
Jones has requested the city fund Skills Development Services with $5,000 for the next fiscal year, rather than the traditional amount of $2,267, which it has gotten for the last several years.
The city board has until July 1 to approve a final budget. There will be a series of city board work sessions from now until the final reading of the budget, which will take place on June 24. According to the city’s FY20 budget schedule, which was provided to The News in February, the city will hold three readings of the budget on June 3, June 10 and June 24.
Erin McCullough may be reached at email@example.com.