Here we are again, less than 6 months later, having a deja vu moment. Allow me to recap recent financial events regarding Rainbow Riding and tax payer dollars.
Back in November Moonhowlings wrote about 100 grand of discretionary money from Supervisor Covington being directed to Rainbow Riding. Mr. Covington ended up pulling that money, but apparently, plan B was even more expansive.
The proposed FY 13 budget includes $32,477 for this community partnership; Rainbow Riding Center has requested an additional $178,398 in the form of a one-time capital investment for FY 13.
Have I mentioned yet that Silver Lake has a Master Plan that has YET to be funded? Yes, Silver Lake, the land upon which Rainbow Riding has a 35 year FREE lease, has yet to have any real county dollars directed towards capital improvements.
Here are a few of the items on the Master Plan, adopted by the county, that are still not done, in fact, those project have not even begun.
4)Community Garden Area
Why, you may be asking, are these minimal improvements being ignored while the county even entertains the suggestion of giving away $200 grand of our taxpayer money to an organization that only services less than 100 children?
Did you know there is not ONE quality public playground in western Prince William County. I take my kids to a park in Fauquier County! That is simply disgraceful in my opinion.
Lets not forget the Eastern end of the county and their critical needs.
The Chinn Public Library and Community Center are woefully over crowded and in need of serious renovations to accomodate the thousands of adults and children that use those facility’s. There was suppose to be a Park Bond that was intended for those improvements but it was redirected, to where, I am not sure.
Park and Community Centers serve everyone in the community and I firmly believe, until we can ensure those facilities are fully funded, our tax payer dollars, in such large sums, should not be directed to small non profits.
When I spoke at citizens time a couple of weeks ago, a man from Fairfax County, yes, you read that correctly, Fairfax County, shared that his children use the Rainbow Riding facility, and that he hoped the Board would approve the additional funding for the facility. Does anyone here have an issue with a resident from another county asking us to put our limited resources for a facility that draws people from other counties?
Rainbow Riding has a great funding resource and if the Board would like to put their personal money towards Rainbow Riding, or help, on their own time, plan a fundraiser, I support that fully. However, to give ONE non profit such a large sum of money, is unconscionable and an insult to the all the other worthy non profits in this county who would welcome even a smidgen of what Rainbow Riding has recieved from the County coffers..
My hope is that the BOCS will reject this improper use of county funds and we begin to move towards a more holitistic approach to the needs of all county residents regarding our Park services.
Addendum: It appeaars that Rainbow Riding is sitting on a ton of money, according to their federal 990 form. To download, click here.