Donations To Non-Profits Concern Biloxi's Mayor - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Donations To Non-Profits Concern Biloxi's Mayor

The Humane Society is one of 70 organizations that gets a check from the city of Biloxi. The city pays not only yearly animal control fees, but also pledges $300,000 to help build the society's new shelter. 

"Animal care and control is a critical service to a community and that's what we're providing. So, we in that fashion, we are not looking to the different municipalities for a donation," says shelter director Tara High.

Biloxi dollars cross city limits too to help pay for exhibits at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport. 

Betsy Grant, Center Director, says, "They helped to fund this exhibit, 'What it's like to be me.' This is our most recent exhibit that actually was installed Spring 2005, so we have had real support from the city of Biloxi."

Biloxi's mayor says in the ten years before the storm the city gave almost $2 million to non-profits, museums and civic groups. Since the hurricane some of those organizations have benefited from private foundations and grants and now the mayor wonders if they need the same financial help from his city. 

"If there is a need from the city, then I'm for giving them what they need. But just carte blanche, I don't think that's the way to go," says Mayor A.J. Holloway.

The Biloxi city council is trying to give money to as many groups as possible. The mayor says that's okay, if the budget can spare it. 

"We don't know what's going to happen this year, as far as a storm or anything, you know. So I think we need to be prudent and need to watch what we're doing and not just be silly and spend money like a drunken sailor."

Council members Mike Fitzpatrick and Tom Wall say the council is carefully reviewing requests from different groups. Wall says he wants to give money to agencies that help the poor and those that are helping in storm recovery.

by Marcia Hill

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