Anthony GonzalezStaff Writer
April 11, 2013
A resolution outlining a new policy and steps a not-profit must take in order to receive monies from the Town of Elkin has been temporarily tabled by the Board of Commissioners.
North Carolina’s Session Law 2012-169/HB 572 effective October 1, 2012 states that if a corporation receives more than $5,000 of public funding within a fiscal year, including the amount of grants or loans and the value of any in-kind donations from a local government, the state, or the federal government, it must now provide its latest annual financial statements upon written demand from any member of the public.
The new law states the town “may” request the financial statements, audits, etc. from the corporation receiving monies, as well.
According to town officials, though, smaller non-profits have raised concerns. Many complain the process may be too burdensome to smaller operating organizations who do not have the resources to conduct a full comprehensive audit requested by the Town of Elkin.
“I recommended for the Board to delay the implementation of the policy, due to it being late in the budget season coupled with the fact that I have already received some requests for funding from some non-profit groups,” said town Manager Lloyd Payne. “I felt it was unfair to send out a new policy with a very short turn around time to not only understand the new policy, but also fill out the forms and present to the Town Board.
“We plan to work on the policy and fine tune it with a projected roll out this fall. That will allow the non-profit groups ample time to understand what reporting requirements are needed for the money we have allocated to them along with adequate time to prepare the forms and justify why they are requesting money for the next year,” Payne said.
Elkin officials contend the impact of the new law gives the board more accountability over the public funds it provides to these agencies and groups.
The groups would have to come before the Board to not only substantiate the funds they used the previous year, but also to state for the record what they want public funds for in the next budget year.
According to Payne, the examination will allow the town attorney to also hear the request along with town officials and the Board of Commissioners.
In the past, Payne indicated that a letter has been the only requirement for the groups that have not had a ‘matching’ component to their receipt of public funds.
The following organizations have received monies from the Town of Elkin in 2012 subject to the $5,000 disclosure law.
Surry EDP - $15,000
Elkin Rescue Squad - $10,000
Foothills Arts Council - $10,000
Reeves Theater - $15,000
Elkin Valley Trails Association - $10,000
Yadkin Valley Craft Guild - $10,000
Northwestern Regional Library - $85,868