News

City distributes human service funding early

by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette
 

Funding for the city’s human resources came down to percentages Monday night.

 

For the past two weeks, city councilors considered a percentage breakdown of $75,000 for contracts to nonprofit agencies for services the city cannot provide to help the poor and infirm.

 

Councilors voted 4-3, with Erik Erichsen, Ted Miller and Susan Lorenzen voting no.

 

Contracts run January 2012-December 2014.

 

The following receive the specified percentage of the city’s annual health and human service fund to help primarily residents of Sequim:

 

• 30% (or $22,500 in 2012) to Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic for medical and dental services.

 

• 25% ($18,750) to the Sequim Boys & Girls Club for youth activity and development programs and services.

 

• 15% ($11,250) to Healthy Families of Clallam County for domestic assault and sexual assault victim assistance and child abuse prevention services.

 

• 7% ($5,250) to Sequim Senior Activity Center for senior activity and development programs and services.

 

• 7% ($5,250) to Parenting Matters for assistance with its newsletter subscriptions and First Teacher Room services.

 

• 7% ($5,250) to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County for grief support, community end-of-life education, volunteer support and care for persons in the last phases of an illness or incurable disease.

 

• 7% ($5,250) to Serenity House of Clallam County for services to families and individuals experiencing homelessness, facing homelessness and other housing assistance services.

 

Only 98 percent is allocated to agencies because City Manager Steve Burkett plans to speak with United Way of Clallam County officials about overseeing the contracts for an administration fee of up to 2 percent of the fund.

 

In recent years, local agencies applied for contracts through the city with United Way of Clallam County making recommendations to the council for approval.

 

The three councilors against the resolution said they didn’t like the disparity between agencies such as Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula and the Sequim Senior Activity Center. Ted Miller tried amending the motion to increase the senior center and decrease the Boys & Girls Club, but the motion failed.

 

He recommended two-year contracts as opposed to three-year because new agencies with a high need of demand for assistance could approach them in that time. The council chose not to support the motion.

Councilors sent their recommendations to Hays, Dubois and Burkett to come back with a recommendation.

 

Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Dubois said their resolution supported youth agencies more because seniors seem to have better-organized activities.

 

“Our young people don’t have a lot of organized activity for young people who need direction in life,” she said. “Youth services go a long way to preventing problems later on.”

 

Last year, councilors contracted $15,000 to the Dungeness Valley Health & Wellness Clinic; $12,500 to the Sequim Boys & Girls Club; $10,000 to the Sequim Senior Activity Center; $9,000 to Healthy Families of Clallam County; $7,500 to Peninsula Community Mental Health; $5,000 to Olympic Community Action, Volunteer Chore Services and Parenting Matters; and $1,000 to United Way for an administration fee for choosing contracts.

 

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

 

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