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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

CASA requests full $5,000 city donation

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Shelbyville city council will take another look Thursday at a donation request to a local social service agency.

During a budget session held in the last week of May, the council decided to hold non-profit agency contributions to the same level as last year.

However, Lynne Farrar, executive director of CASA (Court Approved Special Advocate program) appeared before the city council during this week's study session, asking the council to reconsider their request for an allocation of $5,000 for fiscal year 2013.

CASA offers each child his or her own advocate -- a volunteer trained to observe, assist and speak up for that child, serving kids who have come to the attention of the juvenile court for abuse or neglect issues.

Funding confusion

The issue has been carried over from last year's budget sessions. In 2010, CASA was part of the Center for Family Development, a child abuse prevention agency.

CASA has claimed that in 2011, and the audit shows, that CASA received the entire $5,000 allocation with the Center for Family Development receiving no funds, but city records show that the allocation went to the Center.

Last June, the city council originally appropriated $2,500 each to CASA and the Center. In July 2011, CASA appealed to the city recorder at the time, Betty Lamb, and the council approved the $5,000 to CASA.

But the city treasurer records were not changed and neither was the adopted budget, according to a memo from city manager Jay Johnson. The purchase order, however, was amended and during the last fiscal year, CASA received the $5,000 while the Center for Family Development received nothing.

In the past

Johnson said in his memo to the council that whatever happened last year was past, and that the council heard the non-profit presentations on May 3 and reviewed the applications.

"If reconsideration is given to CASA, opportunity for reconsideration should be given to all agencies," the city manager wrote.

As it stands for fiscal year 2013, both CASA and the Center are to receive $2,500 each, but Farrar was appealing for the full $5,000, "as all other agencies funded by the city."

Farrar said they were serving 50 percent more children, with 39 kids being served in Shelbyville by 12 CASA volunteers, with almost 2,000 direct volunteer hours to Shelbyville children alone in 2011.

The decision about CASA's funding will be made by the council when they meet at 6 p.m. in the courtroom at the city police department.