Nonprofits appeal to council for funds

The city of Enumclaw is taking a different approach this year when considering financial support for entities that provide good deeds for the community.

In years past, the city has advertised its intention to offer dollars for those helping local residents. Those requests were tabulated and included as part of the mayor’s budget proposal. Whether those recommendations were accepted, rejected or altered was left up the members of the Enumclaw City Council – as are all items in the municipal document of anticipated revenues and expenditures.

This time around – when considering a 2016 spending plan – the council opted against taking financial requests. Rather, representatives from agencies throughout the community were asked to make their pitch directly to the council.

Some have done exactly that.

Several citizens stepped forward during the Nov. 9 session of the City Council, appealing for dollars to keep their organizations operating.

City businessman Tom Poe spoke on behalf of Plateau Outreach Ministries, emphasizing the many roles the organization plays in the community. He noted how POM gives food to the hungry, offers counseling to those in need and provides winter shelter to the homeless, among its many services.

He praised the “compassionate, hard-working, professional people” who make up POM and, in offering his support for city funding, noted that POM is included in the city’s emergency management plan.

Dan Farr also spoke in support of Plateau Outreach Ministries, reminding the council that POM has more than 100 volunteers who step forward to help provide services for those in need.

“If we take care of people on the Plateau, then our community is a better place to live, a safer place,” Farr said.

“We’re an agency of the community, for the community,” added Britt Nelson, POM executive director. She explained that Plateau Outreach Ministries has expanded its role and now serves as a central location for outside agencies delivering social services to the Enumclaw community.

In a letter addressed to Mayor Liz Reynolds and members of the council, POM asked for support to the tune of $25,000 for the coming year.

Also submitting a letter was the Enumclaw Historical Society, reiterating an earlier request for $15,000 to be spread over a five-year period.

Michelle Smith, of the LiveLocal 98022 group, made a pitch for funding of a feasibility study for a downtown enhancement plan. Samantha Rheinford added support for funding of the arts community, noting that an active art scene benefits everyone from schoolchildren to those touting area tourism.

Two agencies already getting consideration are Green River College – through its small-business enhancement program – and the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce, which operates the local Visitor Center. In her proposed budget for 2016, Reynolds included $10,000 for each. Also in line for money is the local Women Infants and Children program. Support for WIC came last year, with a two-year contribution of $10,000; the second award of $5,000 is planned for 2016.

The second public hearing on the 2016 budget is planned for the council meeting of Nov. 23. Council members will deliberate the spending plan until adopting a formal budget document the evening of Dec. 14.