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Nonprofits can expect $60,000 less in city funding

A tight city budget with no extra funding means Sherwood nonprofit groups can expect $60,000 less in their coffers as of July 1.

Last month, the Sherwood Budget Committee agreed that it couldn't afford to fund requests ranging from $940 to $17,000 to aid such groups as Loaves and Fishes, the Sherwood Senior Center, the Sherwood Foundation for the Arts and the Robin Hood Festival.

In all, 14 local groups made requests asking for cash.

'This may be the first time that no funding will be distributed but that is yet to be decided by the council,' said City Manager Jim Patterson.

The council meets Tuesday night to adopt the budget. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Sherwood City Hall.

Still, Patterson said the budget committee agreed to allow those groups to receive in-kind services from the city totaling $36,763.

Mayor Keith Mays said the budget committee, consisting of the city's seven city council members and an equal number of citizens, voted not to fund the groups, instead returning those funds to the city's general fund budget.

The largest request for funding came from the Sherwood Robin Hood Festival, which had asked for $17,000 from the city.

'Historically they've received $12,000 to $15,000 to help support the event,' said Mays.

Nevertheless, the association plans to press on.

'The (Robin Hood Festival) is looking at ways to cut back expenses for this years festival to set aside money for next year's festival when there is no money support from the city of Sherwood,' said Phil Mcguigan, festival director. 'Next year the festival will be celebrating their 60th anniversary and we are optimistic we will be able to continue the festival at the same level of success as previous years.'

Mcguigan said the festival's goal is to spend half of its current budget this year and save the other half for next summer's event.

Still, he said it would have been nice to receive the news earlier.

Patti Barrow, co-founder for the Foundation for the Arts and past chair of the Cultural Arts Commission, expects the foundation will continue to ask for in-kind donations and apply for grants. Her biggest concern is that the non-profits will all be fighting for those funds by asking local businesses for help.

'Our businesses are tapped out,' Barrow pointed out.

Robyn Folsom, a Sherwood City Council member who has been involved in a variety of arts organizations over the years, said denying funding requests from the non-profits was tough.

'It was an extremely painful process for all of us,' said Folsom. She said it wasn't a matter of not finding the requests worthy, rather that the city has set new budget thresholds. The approved budget calls for laying off four city employees and freezing wages of department heads.

Folsom said not funding such groups as the Sherwood Senior Center, Loaves and Fishes and Community Action was especially difficult.

'No one liked what we were doing,' said Folsom, ' and quite frankly, we all wished we could do something differently.'

Here's what the Sherwood groups were asking for:

Robin Hood Festival: $17,000 cash; $12,000 in-kind.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Parade: $8,500 in-kind.

Cruisin' Sherwood: $10,863 in-kind.

Song Bird Festival (Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge): $5,000 cash; $2,100 in-kind

Run for the Roses: $300 in-kind

Sherwood Senior Citizens Inc.: $1,000 cash

Loaves and Fishes: $5,000 cash

Raindrops to Refuge: $9,000 cash

Sherwood Foundation for the Arts: $1,500 cash; $3,000 in-kind

Sherwood Historical Society: $12,000 cash

Community Action: $5,000 cash

Faith in Action: $1,000 cash

Sherwood Charter School: $940 cash

Sherwood Family Triathlon (Sherwood YMCA and Sherwood Charter School: $2,000 cash)