Vice Mayor Carolyn Cooper
Commissioner Marty Sullivan
City Clerk Rene Cranis
Division Director of OMB Peter Moore
Assistant Director of Communications Craig O’Neil
1) Call to Order Vice Mayor Cooper called the work session to order at 1:33 p.m.
2) Discussion Item(s) a. Continuation of discussion on ARPA funding for non-profit organizations Vice MayorCooper said this will be a review the guidelines and application and to answer questions provided by Mr. Moore from the previous meeting.
Commissioner Sullivan said the initial question is how to distribute the funds. He feels the city should not consider unequal distribution of funds even if some non-profits may deserve or need more money or provide a more valuable service. He supports giving each organization the same amount, except those with operating expenses less than $50,000, who would receive no more than $25,000 or ½ of its operating expenses whichever is lower. This would simplify the evaluation of the applicants by removing the need for ranking and the NTEE codes.
Vice Mayor Cooper agreed to removing the NTEE code but opposed each organization getting the same amount. Discussion followed on scenarios for distribution of funds and what organizations may be eligible based on operating expenses.
Vice Mayor Cooper said she feels the Library and Mead Garden are an extension of the city and should be in a separate pool of funds. Mr. Moore stated that two others in that group are the Heritage Center and the Historical Association, all of which use city facilities. Commissioner Sullivan noted that ARPA funds have been allocated separately for these organizations.
Mr. Moore displayed the allocation of funds approved by the Commission and discussion followed on whether to change the allocation to organizations supported by the city that use city-owned assets.
Commissioner Sullivan said two factors need to be considered when allocating amount to each organization: how many organizations will receive support and the amount of the total allocation. He said he said the $200,000 allocation was a tentative amount subject to change by the Commission.
Vice Mayor Cooper said she feels the funding pool is set at $200,000 and would not support increasing the allocation when there are other needs such as old library renovations and infrastructure improvements.
Commissioner Sullivan said he will propose to the Commission increasing the allocation. He stated that the NTEE code would not be needed and a committee would not be needed to rank applications if there was agreement on equal distribution.
Vice Mayor Cooper said she could agree if there were clear and published characteristics on how the city would determine preference for these organizations in case a large number of applications are received.
The requirements were reviewed and in-depth discussion ensued on the operating expense threshold with agreement to leave at $2 million.
Vice Mayor Cooper noted that if the funds are divided equally and there is a large pool of eligible applicants, individual grants will be minimal. Discussion followed on the alternative of establishing a ranking system and having a committee to rank applications.
Mr. Moore said staff could screen the applications for initial eligibility and if there is a small pool of eligible applications, funds could be distributed equally to the applicants. If there is a large number of eligible applications, a committee could be created to rank the applications based on the preferences outlined in the guidelines and present the rankings to the commission.
Vice Mayor Cooper said she could support staff’s recommendation provided that the guidelines clearly allow for a committee to be established and to rank applications based on the preferences outlined in the guidelines.
Review of Guidelines: • Add language in General Requirements and Non-Profit Status and Location that the organization must provide direct services to the Winter Park community.
• Add under Funding as a Percentage of the Organization’s Expenses: “… up to half
of the organizations operating expenses or $25,000, whichever is lower.
• Change first paragraph under Award of funds and Ranking to read “…”to meet the needs of every applicant” and change last sentence to read “…used at the discretion of city dependent upon quantity of eligible applications received.”
Review of Application:
• Add “in the city of Winter Park” to Proof of operational history of at least 3 years.
• Add #7: Audit letter from management for organizations receiving $1 million or more in annual contributions.
• Delete question: If you had to cancel services, what was the financial loss to your organization?
• Delete question: How will cancelling any programs affect your ability to achieve your mission?
• Ask for equivalent full-time employees for both 2020 and 2021.
Mr. Moore said he will provide the red-line and final versions to the Commission before tomorrow’s Commission meeting. He will discuss marketing and communication efforts with staff with the intent to accept applications for a 30-day period and distribute funds before the end of FY 21.
The work session adjourned at 2:58 p.m.
View the original PDF at the City of Winter Park. (https://winterpark.granicus.com/DocumentViewer.php?file=winterpark_8e599d6d-bb25-4d3c-a8c3-e0ef7429f966.pdf)
Posted to WinterParkSunshine.org on July 8, 2021.