The Haines Borough Assembly last week authorized $94,300 in funding for local nonprofits, nearly $33,000 less than the amount requested and the lowest amount it has disbursed in grants since 2009.

The assembly appropriated $109,200 last year.

Following several attempts to postpone funding the programs, the assembly voted 4-2 to pass the resolution funding 11 local nonprofits. Assembly members Joanne Waterman and George Campbell were opposed.

The borough’s ad-hoc committee decided to fund nonprofits based on the “grades” awarded during a scoring process. Under scoring by five judges, applicants receiving 90 percent or more receive an ‘A’ and those receiving 80-89 percent on the application get a ‘B,’ and so on.

The committee funded nonprofits receiving an ‘A’ grade at 100 percent, a ‘B’ grade at 80 percent, a ‘C’ grade at 50 percent and a ‘D’ grade at 17.5 percent.

The following organizations received full funding of requested amounts: Lynn Canal Counseling ($30,000), Southeast Senior Services ($6,000), Chilkat Valley Preschool ($13,357) and Southeast Alaska Independent Living ($4,000).

The Southeast Alaska State Fair received $13,600, 80 percent of its $17,000 request. The Alaska Avalanche Information Center received $2,000, 80 percent of its original request.

Nonprofits funded at 50 percent include Takshanuk Watershed Council ($16,995), Haines Friends of Recycling ($2,500), Chilkat Snowburners ($2,500) and Haines Dolphins Swim Team ($2,500).

Takshanuk’s funding is contingent on the assembly passing a budget amendment to appropriate money from the borough’s Title III funds, a narrowly-defined pool of money that comes from the federal government.

The Haines Hot Shots, a youth target shooting organization, received a ‘D’ grade and $875, only 17.5 percent of the requested $5,000.

Chilkat Valley Preschool administrator Renee Hoffman said the nonprofit asked for less money this year knowing there would be less to go around.

“We did a lot of cutting corners and things to ask less because we knew they were cutting down the funds for all the nonprofits,” Hoffman said.

The funds won’t go toward the preschool’s effort to build a new facility, but will be put toward everyday expenses. “We always use the borough funding to help keep tuition low so we can provide the service at minimum cost,” Hoffman said.

The importance of early childhood education in the borough’s Comprehensive Plan and Chilkat Valley Preschool’s widespread community support – both of which factored into the application scoring matrix – likely led to the nonprofit receiving full funding, Hoffman said.

Last week, assembly member Joanne Waterman attempted to remove the $32,500 of “community chest” general fund money from the resolution, which would have eliminated funding for all of the nonprofits except Lynn Canal Counseling, the Snowburners, state fair and watershed council.

Waterman, who repeatedly stressed her support of local nonprofits, said she was concerned about funding nonprofits when the borough is facing revenue shortfalls in other areas. Waterman pointed to property taxes, which took in $60,000 less than budgeted due to an increase in senior property tax exemptions.

Considering this revenue shortfall, Waterman said she wanted to postpone allocation of the community chest until manager David Sosa could review the budget. “I have always felt we want to make sure all of our departments and obligations are funded previous to this (nonprofit) funding process,” Waterman said.

Waterman’s amendment to the original resolution passed 4-2, but the amended resolution failed 2-4.

Assembly member George Campbell moved to postpone the entire resolution, but that motion failed 1-5. 

Assembly grants to nonprofits totaled $74,500 in 2007 and climbed annually before peaking in 2012 and 2013 at $154,696.