Marshall County Fiscal Court debates funding for nonprofits

MARSHALL COUNTY, KY — A divide on the county budget: On Wednesday, the Marshall County Fiscal Court spent the afternoon discussing the budget for fiscal year 2020. One of the big concerns about the budget is funding for nonprofits.

Judge Executive Kevin Neal is proposing cutting funding for grants that go to local nonprofits to $50,000 for all of them to share. One of the nonprofit organizations that would be affected is the Marshall County Senior Citizens Center, which provides a meal each day for senior citizens and delivers meals to people who can’t get out of their homes.  The Marshall County Senior Center Board voted on Tuesday to close the center if it doesn’t get funding from the fiscal court.

Marshall County Judge Executive Kevin Neal

Neal maintains that nonprofits can hold fundraisers to collect more money. “I think it is very misleading to think that this court, this fiscal court, is responsible for an organization to shut its doors,” says Neal.

County Commissioner Kevin Spraggs disagrees. “I’m not willing to give up on them, and my personal feelings are the current $50,000 amount in the budget will be devastating for them,” says Spraggs.

During Tuesdays meeting, Spraggs proposed an amendment to add $200,000 to the budget for nonprofits, with the understanding that the fiscal court would help them learn how to better raise funds. That amendment failed in a split vote, with Neal and commissioner Justin Lamb voting against it. Spraggs made it clear where he stands.

Marshall County Commissioner Kevin Spraggs

“I will not support a budget with $50,000 in it for nonprofits,” says Spraggs.

Neal says there are other options and says the essential services that the nonprofits provide, such as meals on wheels, will continue through other state and federally funded groups, like the Purchase Area Development District.

“There is an initiative to have a pilot program with the PADD, we had a meeting today where the PADD is going to come in and provide services with Marcella’s Kitchen,” says Neal.

Neal says that the Purchase Area Development District is responsible for the meals on wheels program. Under a contract, they are under they will have to keep providing the services even if the senior center closes.

The Department of Local Government has to approve the first reading of the county budget. Once the budget is approved by the Department of Local Government, then the fiscal court can vote on it. The fiscal court has to pass a budget by July 1, because that’s when the current fiscal year ends.

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