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Commission looks at nonprofit funding
Groups may be asked to justify county funding
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Forsyth County News

In the wake of deepening budget woes, the Forsyth County commission wants to revisit funding for local nonprofits.

The county gives about $480,000 each year to such organizations.

Commissioners last week discussed having those organizations come to a work session, possibly as early as Dec. 9, to explain where the money goes.

As the fiscal year 2009 budget awaits approval Dec. 18, Commissioner Brian Tam said it's timely for nonprofits to "come in and tell us what they do."

Among those noted were Jesse's House, Court Appointed Special Advocate, Child Advocacy Center, Department of Family and Children's Services and Bald Ridge Lodge.

He suggested the commission give the organizations 15 to 30 minutes each to talk about what they do with the funds they are given.

"There may be duplication of services," Tam said.

"This is $480,000 tax dollars we've taken from the people," Commissioner David Richard said. "I don't think we've ever had a good handle on exactly where it went, what it went for and what service it was providing.

"This is like the child's version of the chamber of commerce. We give them money, we don't know what we get."

Tam relayed the story of a 14-year-old boy who "pulled a prank and ... got arrested."

"We have no place in the county for the young boy to stay, so he goes to a regional detention center in Gainesville," Tam said. "His parents aren't allowed to see him for a week ... it seems a little out of whack."

Tam said he was "livid" over the matter, and did not understand why the child was shipped out of the county.