Funding for the Fellowship House in Question. Borough Council to Hear Request on May 21st

Somehow we completely missed this story, and for that we apologize. Luckily there is still time to catch-up. During the creation of the last budget, Borough Council chose to only fund a portion of the Fellowship House’s annual allocation. The Fellowship House is located on Borough property, but is an independent organization with its own board, but the Borough provides some funding and a staff member.  In 2009, 2010 and 2011 the funding (these figures do not include the staff member) for the Fellowship House was $166,400, in 2012 and 2013 the funding was $174,000 and in 2014, Borough Council only allocated $43,500 to cover a part of the year and at Wednesday’s meeting of Borough Council, the Fellowship House will present a business plan and request the balance of the usual funding.

We asked Borough Council member Matt Ryan about this via email and below is his response:

This was determined in December when we did the budget. The budget was short and we needed to make up the difference. Unfortunately that’s the area we needed to draw from.

There were some complaints that the Fel wasn’t running at full capacity and we told them we were reducing our allotment and asked their board to present a modified business plan. We funded them for 25% of our 2013 allotment (I dont have the exact numbers with me).

The Fel is a non-profit. Not owned by the borough. We set an annual allotment to help them out, and our employee (Darlene) runs the facility, but it’s an independent board.

They are coming in for Wednesdays meeting to present their business plan and request the other 75% be added to the budget.

As we reported in January, the YMCA made a proposal to the Fellowship House’s board to take over the management of the facility. The board rejected this proposal. As we have also reported, the YMCA is seeking to build a facility in the Conshohocken area and move its corporate office to the Borough.

So the question that has to be asked is whether the reduction of funding was/is an effort to force the Fellowship House’s hand on the YMCA matter or an actual concern for the programming currently being offered.

So if you are concerned about this issue, the meeting is Wednesday, May 21st at 7:00 p.m. at Old Borough Hall at the corner of West 8th Avenue and Fayette.