Community organizations appeal for funding in Abingdon's new budget


ABINGDON, Va. - Abingdon town officials are in the middle of planning for the town's budget in the new fiscal year. On Monday various community organizations appealed for funding.

The meeting was the first of many for the town of Abingdon to discuss the 2017-2018 budget. One by one, local non-profits came forward to plead their case for funds.

"They provide a great service that is of good benefit to all the people who live in this community," said Abingdon town manager, Greg Kelly.

Feeding America Southwest Virginia is asking for $10,000 in funding for their programs. The organization serves 150 different local agencies, from food pantries, to after school feeding programs.

"The funds that we receive from the Town of Abingdon and Washington County is used to help those individuals right here on our back door," said David Millsap, branch director for Feeding America Southwest Virginia in Abingdon.

Other organizations are seeking funds to expand tourism. Jennifer Montgomery is the executive director for 'Abingdon Main Street', a non-profit working to revitalize downtown.

"Helping to promote our small businesses, our heritage, our history," said Montgomery. "It's a very historic town, very charming town."

They're asking for $30,000 to continue their operations, including a new beautification project focusing on refurbishing the outside of several businesses on the Main Street.

"If you want people to come and visit you, you need to take pride in your own community first," said Montgomery.

The previous general fund budget was $14.5 million, this year Abingdon hopes to cut $2 million, with most of the cutbacks in operation costs.

Kelly says tourism is a huge revenue driver for the town, that's why it's something they hope to keep funding.

"We couldn't survive without our tourism market and we're very proud of the tourism that we have in Abingdon," said Kelly.

The budget will be presented to the town council on April 1 st , then they will have public hearings beginning in May.

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