We've now heard the story that a $50,000 grant was awarded to CASA by the Sheridan County Commission this week. At least we've heard part of the story. More questions have been raised since our initial report about why CASA received all of the funds, while the applications from RENEW and the Center for Dispute Solutions were both dismissed.
The four commissioners who were at the meeting say their decision was largely based on the fact that neither RENEW nor CDSI had representatives at the public hearing. However, CDSI Director Cori Erickson has a different take on the situation:
Records from last year's meeting show that CDSI received $15,000 of the TANF grant, while CASA received $35,000.
Vice President of RENEW, Sandy Theil, also questions the commissioners' stated rationale:
Erickson adds that while these grants are vital to their programs, in this case, it isn't entirely about the money:
The two projects which will remain on the drawing board, at least for now, are both “preventative” programs. CDSI was looking to fund their parenting counseling program, while RENEW was seeking to provide a service for developmentally disabled children from needy families. Again, Sandy Thiel:
Having shared their side, both Sandy and Cori emphasized that they do think CASA is an excellent and important organization, well-deserving of these funds.