City and county officials are working to help keep the doors open to a local organization which focuses on cultural understanding.
The City Council on Monday approved $15,000 in funding for All Cultures Equal.
ACE provides a safe space for people of all cultures to visit. The organization provides English Language classes and helps with immigration issues.
Dan Campidilli, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, was in attendance.
He said supervisors planned to discuss funding for ACE at their meeting Dec. 11.
Councilman Jim Talbot was the only official who opposed the funding.
He called for an external audit of ACE.
“I would also like to see some sort of business plan,” Talbot said. “There needs to be more defined plans on this because what are we doing? We are just bailing them out.”
Talbot later added, “I am not disputing what they do. I don’t know how we can have $15,000 to give to an outside organization when we should be taking care of city departments first.”
John Boughton, an ACE board member, reported the organization brought in about $79,000 last year, while it expended about $90,000.
“We had a director for many months who was not paying herself, so we were not operating with a lot of cash,” Boughton said.
Councilman Matt McKinney said, “The organization is an important one for the community.”
Mayor John Hawkins said ACE is planning a large fundraiser.
“This will give them a boost for that,” Hawkins said. “They have had some issues the past 12 months with different things. They obviously never had enough money in the first place.”
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