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Elgin City Council tables doling out grants to nonprofits

Updated: April 1, 2014 10:02AM

ELGIN — The city council Wednesday night tabled moving along doling out $200,000 from the Riverboat Grant Award Program to 10 social service organizations.

Councilwoman Tish Powell made the motion to table, noting that Councilman Rich Dunne was not present for the meeting.

Dunne is out of town on business for his job as a fire grant specialist with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and is due back in time for a Saturday meeting that is set to include a morning discussion of Elgin’s budget thus far this year and a committee of the whole session in the afternoon.

The grant allocations more than likely will be brought up then.

Powell’s motion carried by a 5-3 vote, with the nays cast by council members Terry Gavin, John Prigge and Toby Shaw.

According to supporting material for the committee of the whole meeting, up for funding are the Boys & Girls Club, which would get $70,000 of $98,000 requested to help pay for general programming; Food for Greater Elgin, which would get $20,000 of $25,000 requested to use for buying food; Salvation Army Golden Diners, which would receive $20,000 of $25,000 for its senior meals program; the Ecker Center, which could get $19,500 of $21,000 requested to address mental health issues; Centro de Informacion, which would get $20,000 of $25,000 sought for doing Hispanic outreach work; United Way of Elgin’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which would get $8,000 of $10,000 requested for preschool literacy projects; the Well Child Center, which would get $10,000 of $20,000 requested to provide adolescent dental care; the Literacy Connection, which would get $12,500 of $25,000 requested for adult literacy and job training efforts; the Greater Elgin Family Care Center, which would get $12,500 of $25,000 to provide adult dentistry; and the YWCA, which would get $7,500 of $15,000 requested preschool ESL (English as a Second Language) programming.

All told, 26 agencies made requests for $525,500, which Assistant to the City Manager for Community Engagement Cherie Murphy and administrative intern Laura Valdez initially whittled down to 17 qualifying organizations that asked for a collective $444,000 before making its final choices.

The Riverboat Grant Award Program was set up in 2012 to replace individual line item funding that had been given to specific agencies in past years. After the first year, participating agencies were told that starting in 2013, all agencies would compete on an equal basis.

The Ride-in-Kane program operated by Pace suburban bus service for qualifying individuals will receive $120,000 as a separate line item in the city budget, as it did last year, under the proposed spending plan.

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