In the first draft of Sumner County's 2017-18 fiscal year budget, county commissioners are proposing allocating $1,326,513 in contributions to local agencies - up $114,000 from last year's donations.
Those increases include $17,570 more to Tennessee Rehabilitation Center; $4,000 more to two senior citizens centers; and $105,000 more to Sumner County Tourism. Decreases in this year's budget proposal to non-profits include $15,000 less to Forward Sumner and $2,500 to Sumner County CASA which did not seek a county donation this year.
While a request was made for $413,000, the county's 13 volunteer fire departments are not in line for an increase in the first budget draft, with $14,000 going to each for a total of $182,000 - the same amount they received last year.
Volunteer first responders say they are concerned that residents could start feeling the effects of low funding.
"We definitely need help," Chief Marty Bowers, with Shackle Island Volunteer Fire Department, said. "What's happening is our trucks are getting older and requiring more maintenance. We could use some help, that's for sure. There are more and more houses being built and that means more calls.
"It's getting tougher all the time - our expenses are going up and our membership dues are staying about the same. We could definitely use some more help from the county. All of the Sumner County volunteer fire departments need help."
For five local senior citizens centers, $50,500 is being proposed for the coming year and includes $15,000 for Hendersonville; $14,000 for Gallatin; $9,500 for White House; $9,000 for Portland and $3,000 for the Westmoreland Senior Citizens Center.
An additional $1,089,013 is being proposed for the following agencies: TN Rehabilitation Center - $158,745; Sumner County Tourism - $560,000; Forward Sumner - $85,000; State Forestry Division $2,000; Sumner County Resource Authority - $100,000; Ashley's Place -$5,000; Cumberland Crisis Pregnancy Center - $2,500; HomeSafe - $2,500; Mid-Cumberland HRA Dues - $17,671; Salvus Center Inc. - $5,000; VSCC Adult Education Program - $40,000; Portland Airport - $50,000; TN Small Business Center - $5,000; and Regional Transportation Authority - $55,597.
Two new requests have been approved so far in the new budget draft- $2,500 for Sumner Teen Center and $2,500 for Mid-Cumberland HRA program.
The County Budget Committee is expected to give final approval June 12, with the full commission expected to vote on the contributions June 19.