Buda bumps up grant requests for local non-profit groups

Non-profit organizations in the community got the news Tuesday that the Buda City Council would award $25,500 in grants from the general fund.

The agenda originally called for distribution of $20,500. The presentation was made July 18 at a special budget workshop. Various local non-profit organizations applied for a total of $75,000 for the grants from the city.

Hays Caldwell Women’s Center Executive Director Marla Johnson was the sole public speaker about the grants. She said the city had not funded requests for the center last year.

Johnson told council members that 51% of the people who were helped by the Women’s Center last year were accompanied by some form of law enforcement and that 30% of those people lived in the city limits of Buda.

Buda City Secretary Alicia Ramirez announced the organizations and amounts proposed for grant funds. Council member Eileen Altmiller pleaded with council to reinstate a grant for the Buda United Methodist Church food bank.

Altmiller explained that the Methodist Church food bank currently feeds around 140 families and also provide a base of operations for the non-profit program Meals on Wheels. She asked city staff to find an additional $2,500 for the food bank.

“I think this grant money should go toward food for people and to law enforcement that are helping people with social services who deserve this money,” Altmiller said.

Council member George Haehn agreed with Altmiller that the local non-profits or charities should be awarded grants before any outside organizations and added that the Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) organization should receive at least a $500 grant from the City.

Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Lane empathized with Johnson’s plea for more funds for social services and suggested the Women’s Center receive an additional $2,000 in grant money, since many Buda residents used the organization’s services.

Buda Mayor Todd Ruge made a motion to accept the previously stated grant award amounts with a stipulation to add $500 for the ECI, $2,500 for the Methodist food bank and an additional $2,000 for the Women’s Center, bringing the total in grant funding to $25,500.

Council voted unanimously to approve the grant awards which consist of less than 1% of the FY2017-2018 budget.

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