Island cities ok Center funding

Center of Anna Maria Island
Things are looking up financially for The Center of Anna Maria Island. - File Photo | Sun

ANNA MARIA – City commissioners have agreed to make an $18,500 contribution to The Center of Anna Maria Island.

To be taken from the city’s current fiscal year budget, the money will help support the nonprofit’s youth programs, including summer camp and after-school activities.

Executive Director Chris Culhane presented the budget request to commissioners on Thursday, June 28, after he and board chair David Zaccagnino were told on June 14 their request needed to include more specific details.

Each year the Anna Maria commission budgets taxpayer money to help support the Center, but this year’s contribution was withheld until concerns about the nonprofit’s financial stability and the organization’s willingness to share financial and operational records were addressed.

During last week’s meeting, Commissioner Brian Seymour made an initial motion to give the nonprofit $32,000, but his motion died for the lack of a second. The commission then voted 4-1 in favor of the requested $18,500 contribution, with Seymour voting opposition.

After the meeting, Seymour said, “While $18,500 is a generous donation, it doesn’t amount to anywhere close to what I feel the city should be contributing to the Center on an annual basis to support our youth. Our $18,500 is less than one-half of 1 percent of our annual budget and less than 1.5 percent of the Center’s current budget. I will keep pleading the case for more support in future years, and I hope the other commissioners can get on board.”

The Bradenton Beach Commission recently authorized a $5,000 contribution from its current fiscal year budget to assist with the Senior Adventures program that provides weekly adventures for senior citizens departing from the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach.

The Holmes Beach Commission recently approved a $22,500 contribution to the Center from the city’s current fiscal year budget.

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