Council still undecided on use of $10K


The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN – The Common Council on Tuesday didn’t make a final decision on how to use a $10,000 donation to the city, but was advised by legal counsel to tread carefully on the issue.

Mayor Dayton King told the council there’s a process with regard to the donation, and the city will “take time” before deciding what to do.

First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth brought up the issue of the $10,000 donation from the Overlook Ridge Apartments, which she said is now in the city’s general fund.

However, she noted the city already is getting requests from non-profits for the money, although the council has made no decision about what to do with the funds.

King suggested at an Aug. 27 meeting that non-profit organizations start to apply for a portion of the money. Under his plan suggested Aug. 27 – subject to council approval – groups could send a letter to the city clerk with the amount they’re requesting and an explanation about how the money would be used. King said then the deadline for requests could be Sept. 10 and the council could eventually announce winners at a Sept. 24 council meeting.

Wentworth took exception Tuesday night to King’s suggestion, saying the donation should stay in the general fund for the time being.

“We’re not looking to have a contest to give this money away,” she said.

Sixth Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski said it was his understanding the Overlook donation was “given to the city with no strings attached.”

City Attorney Anthony Casale said the donation is now a city asset and the city can’t simply give it back to Overlook?Ridge. He said the city needs to come up with a solution to what he referred to as the “issue” involving the $10,000.

“I would caution the mayor and the council not to turn this good thing into a bad thing,” Casale said.

Wentworth said the destination of the donated money is a tough decision.

King said in August he thinks about $3,000 of the money should go to the Recreation Commission for future activities and city improvements.

Wenworth also voiced support for the commission and for fixing part of Lee Avenue.

However, she was concerned about the council having to decide which non-profits deserve to get funds. She also said announcing winners by Sept. 24 was unrealistic.