Home / Government / SHCC agrees to distribute $80K to outside agencies

SHCC agrees to distribute $80K to outside agencies

Safety Harbor artist Todd Ramquist speaks before the City Commission on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.
Safety Harbor artist Todd Ramquist speaks before the City Commission on Dec. 7, 2015.

During its budget sessions over the summer, the Safety Harbor City Commission agreed to earmark $80,000 in the FY 15/16 budget to be distributed to outside, or non-city, agencies.

On Monday night, the commission unanimously approved the majority of requests that were received, with a few small changes.

Of the seven organizations that asked for funding, five were granted the full amount requested, while one figure was lowered and another was rejected.

Here’s a breakdown of the agencies and the amount the City Commission agreed to give to each one (the amount requested/suggested is in parentheses):

  • Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center – $45,000 ($45,000)
  • Neighborly Care Network – $15,000 ($15,000)
  • Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce – $15,000 ($15,000)
  • North Pinellas Cultural Alliance – $2,000 ($2,000)
  • Paint Your Heart Out – $1,500 ($1,500)
  • Pinellas County Safe Harbor – $1,500 ($2,500)
  • Greater Pinellas County Fair – 0 ($500)
  • TOTAL = $80,000 ($81,500)

During the discussion of the item, Mayor Andy Steingold explained the importance of supporting certain organizations.

Safety Harbor Mayor Andy Steingold.
Safety Harbor Mayor Andy Steingold.

“The city’s always supported our local agencies, such as the Chamber, Mattie Williams, Paint Your Heart Out, as well as Neighborly Care Network, which feeds 42 people here in the City of Safety Harbor,” the mayor explained.

“I look at some of the funding that we provide…as kind of our duty, so to speak, to, I guess, assist,” Steingold said, adding that he believes any support should be directed towards organizations that directly benefit the city and/or its residents.

The mayor’s suggestion led to questions about some of the lesser-known organizations on the list.

City Manager Matt Spoor explained that the cultural alliance is a group that is dedicated to promoting arts and culture in north Pinellas County; the county fair is a special event in Pinellas Park featuring a number of communities in the area; and Safe Harbor is a Largo-based homeless shelter run by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Local artist and Safety Harbor Songfest organizer Todd Ramquist also spoke on behalf of the NPCA, of which he is a board member.

“It’s basically all the cultural institutions north of Ulmerton Road…and it’s going to be a really good thing in uniting everyone together,” Ramquist said, adding that all the other cities involved had already approved the money that was requested.

After being provided with the additional information, Vice Mayor Andy Zodrow made a proposal.

“I would like to see it kept at the budget that we came up with, the eighty thousand,” Zodrow said. “So if we cut the fair and drop the Safe Harbor a thousand dollars, we can call it an even eighty thousand.”

Zodrow’s suggestion was supported by the other commissioners, who then agreed to pass the motion by a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Janet Hooper had to recuse herself from voting due to her affiliation with the Mattie Williams Center.

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  1. Thank YOU Todd Ramquist for always being there supporting not just your non-profit organization, SHAMc, but looking after Pinellas County as an entire community that supports the arts!!! You are truly a gem and we are so proud to claim you as one of our own. I have always said this and still do…..SHAMc will put Safety Harbor on the map as a destination like we have never seen before!!

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