NCCo Executive Clark cuts grants budget

Grants funding for nonprofit and community groups from New Castle County Executive Paul Clark will not go out this year as Clark tightens the county’s budget belt.  
Clark’s office traditionally has given out grants to groups to help in their fundraising efforts, but because of the county’s financial challenges, the grants will not be given this year.  That will save the county $45,800.  That may be a small amount compared to the county’s projected shortfall of $5 million for the current fiscal year which ends June 30. 

Clark says, “Although I am keenly aware that nonprofits are suffering from a decrease in charitable giving because of the economy, this government is also suffering through another tough budget year.”  As bad as this year’s projected shortfall is, it’s expected to be twice as bad next year.  The county is facing a $10 million shortfall for Fiscal Year 2012.

Last month, Clark ordered department leaders to trim their budgets by a combined total of $1 million.  That effort has resulted in $1.14 million trimmed from county spending.  “They did everything from consolidating vendor payments to canceling orders for office supplies,” Clark says.

Other budget cutting measures underway in the county means fewer replacement computers will be purchased- saving $55,000 – and police uniforms will be bought when needed instead of being stocked – saving $52,300.

Earlier this year, Clark announced that the county would no longer pay a federal lobbyist to represent the county’s interest in Washington, D.C.  That will save the county $125,000.

Clark will present his spending plan to New Castle County on March 22.  That presentation will be followed by budget hearings in the coming weeks.

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