Grant Request Dies in Committee

WINNSBORO (Sept. 22, 2016) – The Administration and Finance Committee, on a 0-3 vote on Sept. 12, let die in committee a request from the Town of Ridgeway for $20,000 – $8,683.28 for matching funds for a Parks and Recreational Development (PARD) grant for a kiddie park and an additional $11,616.62 for fencing for the park.

In order to receive PARD grant money of $64,200 for the park, the Town had to come up with matching funds of $16,050 for a total of $80,250. After the Pulpwood Festival Committee kicked in $7,366 toward the matching fund amount, $8,683.28 was still needed. Tacking on an additional $11,616.62 for fencing, Ridgeway’s total request of the County came to $20,000, just shy of the total needed for the project.

While County Administrator Jason Taylor suggested the funds could come out of Council’s contingency fund, Councilman Marion Robinson (District 5) was the first of the three Committee members to balk at the request.

“I think they (Ridgeway Town Council) would have had to know they were going to apply for a PARD grant back before our budgeting process began. They should have come then to talk with us so we could have considered putting it in our budget,” Robinson said.

Councilwoman Mary Lynn Kinley (District 6) asked if it was a requirement that the Town should have come to the County before applying for the grant if they planned to ask for money.

“It’s not a requirement,” Taylor said, “but it would have been nice if they had.”

“We as a Council do not give money to Towns,” Chairwoman Carolyn Robinson (District 2) added. “You start that process and everyone will be coming with their hands out. We’re looking at (renovating) a courthouse. It ($20,000) would go a long way to help us not have to use other moneys. Also, two years ago, they (Ridgeway) had the opportunity to have recreation in the Town and turned it down. For something that was a top priority, they should have come to talk to us. I’m not in favor of this since they knew about all this before the budget process.”

“Since they’ve waited this long, maybe they can wait till next year’s budget time,” Kinley said. “It’s not that we don’t want to support them, but it’s after budget.”

“PARD grants are applied for by the end of April or May,” Carolyn Robinson said.

“If they had applied then, it’s something that could have been considered in the budget. If we do anything now, we have to amend the budget, go through three readings and a public hearing,” Robinson added.

With that, the Committee voted against sending the item forward for Council’s consideration.