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County funding requested for senior center

Sarah Harrington

(2/26) At their February 9th town meeting, Thurmont Commissioners outlined the need for additional county funding for the town’s Senior Center and asked County Councilman, Kirby Delauter, who attended meeting, to requests additional funding be added to the County’s fiscal 2017 budget.

The County is currently working on forming the 2017 budget, and the deadline to present additional budget items for consideration by the council is April 15th.

Last year Thurmont donated $20,000 to offset the cost of running the center. In past years the town donated $5,000 per year. Kinnaird told Delauter that he is hoping to see the County increase or even match the amount the town has contributed to the center.

Commissioner Buehrer agreed with Kinnaird’s request, stating he believes the county should contribute more to the center, and at a minimum, contribute the same amount that the town contributes. "I want equality." Buehrer said.

Commissioner Martin Burns however suggested that the town contribute more funding to the center themselves. By doing so, Burns said the request for funding from the county will hold more credibility.

Delauter warned the mayor and commissioners to be aware that funding from the county for other centers comes from grants and are usually accompanied by strings. Delauter continued his warning telling the mayor and commissioners "you may get money but you have to be careful what pile it comes from."

According to Delauter making a request for funding from the county’s general fund is one thing, but requesting funds through grants can come with restrictions and regulations, which could be ones that the Senior Center does not wish to deal with, and could result in the end, in additional costs to the center.

The building that houses the center is owned by the town of Thurmont and leased to the non-profit board that runs the center for $1 a year. The board, which raises money through donations and fund raising events is responsible for payment of all utilities and daily cost for running the facility that serves seniors from across the northern Frederick County area.

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