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Non-Profits Make Case Before Senate Finance Committee

Aug. 1, 2008 — Representatives from four of St. John's non-profit organizations made their case for fiscal year 2009 or future funding Friday when the Legislature's Finance Committee met at the Legislature building on St. John.
"Through our Kindness to Animals program, we have greatly assisted in breaking the cycle of abuse in our community," said Bonny Corbeil, a board member of the Animal Care Center of St. John.
The Animal Care Center asked for $56,000 to fund its programs. The center currently gets $18,000 a year from the local government, but Sen. Terrence "Positive" Nelson, who chaired the meeting, said the figure stood at $15,000 in the 2009 budget.
The center will be short $60,000 in revenue out of its $160,000 budget, Corbeil said.
"We're not sure how we're going to continue to keep the Animal Care Center open," Corbeil said.
While treatment of animals has come a long way in recent years, Corbeil described several instances of animal abuse. In one case, she said, dogs on a two-foot chain starved to death.
"Their skeletons were still attached to the collar," she said.
Paul Devine, director of the St. John Community Foundation, asked for $5,100 to fund the American Legion's flag football league. The number of youths continues to grow, and this year will include at least 82 participants, he said.
Devine also spoke about the Community Foundation's efforts to build a civic center on donated land on Gifft Hill Road. The price will run about $3.6 million, but said the Community Foundation is not far enough along in the process to request government funding, he said.
Nelson agreed that the government should help fund the civic center.
"St. John has the need," he said.
Earlier, Coral Bay Community Council President Sharon Coldren noted that St. John has a pressing need for meeting space, particularly one with video-conferencing capabilities. When she has to attend an hour-long meeting on St. Thomas, she said, it takes her three hours to get there and three hours back.
Coldren, who said she wasn't at the meeting to ask for money in this year's budget, pointed out other issues facing St. John. The dropout rate is high among St. John youths who attend public high school on St. Thomas after spending their elementary school years on St. John.
"They're not fitting in," she said. "They're outsiders."
The St. John Community Crisis Center is slated to get $150,000 under the miscellaneous section of the budget. Director Shelley Williams outlined the services provided by the organization.
It was a departure from the normal budgetary process to have non-profits make presentations to the Finance Committee, Nelson said. But unless the organizations convince a senator to include their funding, they probably would be left out, he said.
Of the seven senators on the Finance Committee, only Nelson attended the meeting. The others are Liston Davis, Carlton Dowe, Juan Figueroa-Serville, Neville James, Ronald Russell and James A. Weber III.
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Aug. 1, 2008 -- Representatives from four of St. John's non-profit organizations made their case for fiscal year 2009 or future funding Friday when the Legislature's Finance Committee met at the Legislature building on St. John.
"Through our Kindness to Animals program, we have greatly assisted in breaking the cycle of abuse in our community," said Bonny Corbeil, a board member of the Animal Care Center of St. John.
The Animal Care Center asked for $56,000 to fund its programs. The center currently gets $18,000 a year from the local government, but Sen. Terrence "Positive" Nelson, who chaired the meeting, said the figure stood at $15,000 in the 2009 budget.
The center will be short $60,000 in revenue out of its $160,000 budget, Corbeil said.
"We're not sure how we're going to continue to keep the Animal Care Center open," Corbeil said.
While treatment of animals has come a long way in recent years, Corbeil described several instances of animal abuse. In one case, she said, dogs on a two-foot chain starved to death.
"Their skeletons were still attached to the collar," she said.
Paul Devine, director of the St. John Community Foundation, asked for $5,100 to fund the American Legion's flag football league. The number of youths continues to grow, and this year will include at least 82 participants, he said.
Devine also spoke about the Community Foundation's efforts to build a civic center on donated land on Gifft Hill Road. The price will run about $3.6 million, but said the Community Foundation is not far enough along in the process to request government funding, he said.
Nelson agreed that the government should help fund the civic center.
"St. John has the need," he said.
Earlier, Coral Bay Community Council President Sharon Coldren noted that St. John has a pressing need for meeting space, particularly one with video-conferencing capabilities. When she has to attend an hour-long meeting on St. Thomas, she said, it takes her three hours to get there and three hours back.
Coldren, who said she wasn't at the meeting to ask for money in this year's budget, pointed out other issues facing St. John. The dropout rate is high among St. John youths who attend public high school on St. Thomas after spending their elementary school years on St. John.
"They're not fitting in," she said. "They're outsiders."
The St. John Community Crisis Center is slated to get $150,000 under the miscellaneous section of the budget. Director Shelley Williams outlined the services provided by the organization.
It was a departure from the normal budgetary process to have non-profits make presentations to the Finance Committee, Nelson said. But unless the organizations convince a senator to include their funding, they probably would be left out, he said.
Of the seven senators on the Finance Committee, only Nelson attended the meeting. The others are Liston Davis, Carlton Dowe, Juan Figueroa-Serville, Neville James, Ronald Russell and James A. Weber III.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.