Logan County/Russellville Concerned Citizens Director Dorris Vick asked the Logan County Fiscal Court on Tuesday for financial help for the non-profit organization.
The group is located on east Fifth Street at the KP Hall and runs a food bank and after-school tutoring program.
This is the second time Vick has come to the county asking for help. She claims the organization she runs has to operate on a shoe-string budget.
“Any help the county could give would be appreciated,” said Vick to the magistrates.
Vick handed out the organization’s budget and a wish list.
County attorney Joe Ross warned the magistrates before they got into anything, that they needed to be very careful in giving money straight out to any organization, because they could be in violation of the law in doing so. He said it was better to give to a specific request, but not a good idea to financially support an agency’s budget.
“So you’re saying you don’t give any money out there to anyone?” asked Vick.
Ross said that wasn’t what he was saying.
“This is taxpayers’ money,” said Ross, who added that in order for the county to financially fund something it has to affect the county as a whole. Ross gave examples of donations the county has allowed in the past that affect Logan County as a whole, including funding the Economic Development and giving money to the Little League organization, which was actually given to the city of Russellville through it’s parks department.
“I’m not saying we don’t want to give and I’m not saying it can’t happen, it would just be better if it were for something specific,” said Ross, adding he was trying to keep the county from violating any laws.
Vick, representing the Concerned Citizens, recently asked the city of Russellville for help as well, but was turned down for similar reasons involving legality.
The city had decided to surplus several pieces of property they owned and were not using. The city council wanted to save money on having to maintain the properties, plus generate revenue from their sale to put in a reserve fund.
Vick, representing her organization, asked the city to donate two lots located on Caldwell and Spring Streets. According to Vick, the Concerned Citizen’s Tutoring program has outgrown the current facility and is in need of additional room. The organization said if the property were to be donated they could use it to house a computer lab and the tutoring program.
Unfortunately, Vick was turned down by the city as well, citing laws regarding the disposal of surplus property.
Another issue, one secondary to the legal stipulations, involved a second non-profit organization asking for the same piece of property. The city council said even if they could there would be no way they could chose one non-profit over the other.