Non-for-profits ask Davenport City Council for almost $2M for 2017

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Nine non-profits are asking the city of Davenport for almost $2,000,000 in next year's budget as the city looks for ways to make cuts.

Those requests range from $35,000 from the Hilltop Campus Village to $50,000 by the Center for Active Seniors. Quad Cities First is asking for $100,000, and the Figge Museum of Art is asking for $753,000.

Some groups are more likely to get their money, and the biggest ask of all is already a done deal. It all depends on where the money pool is coming from.

"There's always a confusion about what we call the buckets of money," says 3rd Ward Alderman Bill Boom.

The money that makes up any city budget comes from different sources. And some of those funds, by law, are required to go towards a specific use. But other money comes from the general fund, largely supported by property taxes.

"The general fund is the big giant pot of money that can be used for pretty much anything," says 2nd Ward Alderwoman Maria Dickman.

Public safety is in that category. It's where most of the cuts could come from this year. But certain non-profits like QC First and the QC Chamber also fall under the general funds category.

"That's one of the most difficult things in budget times is you have to play Solomon and divide the baby up, and there's only so much money to go around," says Boom.

In the case of the Figge Museum of Art, it will get money from the general find this year and through the year 2023. The Figge and the city have a contract that ensures this happens.

For some of the other non-profits, council members are faced with the decision of giving more funds to departments like fire and police to keep us safe, or to those community groups that promote city growth.

And while keeping the community protected may seem like an obvious choice, aldermen are concerned with the long term objective as well.

"Making sure we have things in the community that are getting people to want to live here, that's an important thing as well," says Dickman.

And while this balancing act is still in the early stages of conversation, the grand finale only has one possible ending; there's a million dollars less to go around.

"I can say with certainty that some of the requests for increases won't happen," says Boom.

There's still time to make your voice heard. Call your alderman, and tell them what you want to see happen to your tax money. Attend a city council meeting or a budget meeting.

The budget has to be finalized by March 1.

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