United Way of Madison County needs some financial help, Commission debates

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The United Way of Madison County requested some funding help from the Madison County Commission on Wednesday.

The non-profit's President and CEO Clay Vandiver addressed the commission asking for $17,500, which breaks down to less than $3,000 per district.

"We need some help," he told the commissioners.

The money would be used to repave the parking lot at United Way's offices on Andrew Jackson Way in Huntsville. Vandiver said the non-profit has roughly three months of operating funds, but no discretionary money for facility maintenance.

The request caused some debate among the commissioners, though.

"Anybody in this county is welcome and I would applaud them to go down to your place and write them a check," Commissioner Phil Riddick told Vandiver.

He argued that the legal standard is to contribute money to non-profits that provide contract services to the county adding that tax payers expect their money to be used for the greatest public good.

"They don't expect us to take that money and give it away," said Riddick.

United Way does not have a contract with the county, but Commissioner Bob Harrison argued that it does provide services at no cost for all of the county's tax payers.

"It's particularly troublesome and bothersome every time I turn around, that we're going to a contribution to a non-profit and it has to be deliberated as if it was going to be some major expenditure and we go out and we do things every day that far exceed this kind of commitment," he said.

The request did not come to a vote, but Strong said it is under consideration.

"It has to be evaluated," he said. "While it might pull at the hearts of some, we support the United Way, but the big thing is, each commissioner has to make their own decision. We only have a nominal amount of money to run the entire county and our needs are great at this time."