Officials from PrimeLife Enrichment and several people who frequently attend programs at the senior center spoke during the public comment portion of the Clay Township board meeting Feb. 7 to ask for financial assistance for the nonprofit.
PrimeLife has seen a steady reduction in funding from many of its supporting agencies in recent years, with Clay Township ending its financial contributions in 2021. Gary Wagner, PrimeLife executive director, said Hamilton County reduced its support from $200,000 in 2022 to half that amount this year.
“In response to these funding cuts, we cut our operating expenses by 22 percent and our payroll by 40 percent,” Wagner said. “We cannot cut anymore.”
Clay Township board member Matt Snyder said the township’s budget, which is facing a steep decline in local income tax dollars distributed through the state when the Central Park bond is paid off, has led to a reduction in its ability to support nonprofits.
“The unfortunate reality is that the township is a little hamstrung with money right now,” Snyder said.
The board urged PrimeLife to pursue joint ventures with the township, City of Carmel and Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation.
“I would encourage you to seek partnerships with not only parks but other organizations, and we will be right there to support in any way we can,” Snyder said.
PrimeLife’s budget is $800,000 and is primarily funded through grants and donations. The nonprofit anticipates a shortfall of $300,000 this year and is in danger of cutting services.