Financial assistance to a handful of agencies that benefit the Enumclaw community was formalized Jan. 22 by a vote of the City Council.
The extent of the “outside agency” funding had been confirmed during the crafting of the 2018 city budget. But, the total of $131,000 comes with a “service agreements” that spell out the city’s expectations in exchange for public funding.
The largest city contributions are $70,000 to Nexus, for operation of the Enumclaw Youth Center, and $22,500 to Plateau Outreach Ministries. That money comes from the city’s General Fund, as does $20,000 for the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce – half of which funds Visitor Center operations – and $5,000 for the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation.
Most of the money directed to POM is to be used for utility vouchers, while $7,500 is earmarked for rental assistance – specifically, to help low-income senior citizens residing inside the city limits.
From its Lodging Tax Fund comes $10,000 for the Visit Rainier organization and $1,000 for the local Arts Alive!. Visit Rainier promotes tourism around the mountain and Arts Alive! will use its money for its annual Art in the Garden event.
A pair of special funds direct $1,000 to the Friends of the Library and $1,500 to the Enumclaw Plateau Historical Society.
The biggest part of the council discussion centered upon a $20,000 award to the Enumclaw Expo Center. The money had been allocated through the budget process, but was pulled during the Jan. 22 council deliberation.
There was no objection to approving the financial help; rather, the question involved the timing of the cash distribution. City plans were to dole out the money in quarterly installments, but it was noted that plan doesn’t mesh with the annual schedule of events at the Expo Center. It was suggested the money would be more helpful if it could be received by the Enumclaw Expo and Events Association early in the year.
Rather than delay the entire matter involving all agencies, the Expo Center item was removed and will be dealt with separately.
Aside from the cash appropriations, the council also finalized two rental subsidies for tenants of city-owned buildings. An annual subsidy of $9,000 goes to the Chamber of Commerce and a $7,000 subsidy was authorized for Arts Alive!
Both those entities occupy a building fronting Cole Street at Stevenson Avenue.