Nonprofits make pitch for municipal funding
Boothbay selectmen heard from four nonprofit organizations Feb. 13 seeking larger contributions for the next fiscal year. Three nonprofits — Boothbay Region Ambulance Service, Boothbay Region Community Resource Council and Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library — received municipal contributions this year. But it was the first request for Boothbay Region Health Center, which opened in January. The patient-owned facility is a a local walk-in health care clinic. Boothbay Region Health Care, Inc. Board President Patty Seybold represented the organization requesting $5,000.
The nonprofit is also seeking contributions from Boothbay Harbor and Southport. Seybold reported the clinic began with 776 patients from Dr. Nancy Oliphant’s practice and has grown to over 1,200. In year two, the clinic plans on creating an opioid health home for treating patients with suboxone and hosting individual and group therapies twice a week. The clinic will begin handling 100 patients needing opioid treatment this month. The number will grow to 135 after the organization hires another person, according to Seybold.
The clinic will also continue with its current initiative of chronic care management. Patients make a monthly visit so doctors can monitor their condition. “This is a Medicare program, but we’re going above and beyond by wrapping exercise and nutrition with preventative care around major conditions people in this area have. Particularly respiratory, cardiac, high blood pressure and diabetes are some of these chronic conditions,” she said.
The largest municipal request was from Boothbay Region Ambulance Service. For Fiscal Year 19, Boothbay residents approved $208,734. This year, the service is requesting $268,639. In addition, BRAS is asking Boothbay Harbor for $222,473 and Southport for $43,403. BRAS Board President Robbie Ham explained buying two new ambulances and recruiting personnel are the main challenges in the coming year. The service is considering buying two larger ambulances costing over $200,000 apiece.
BRAS is also paying workers more to stay competitive in a shrinking labor market for qualified emergency medical service technicians and paramedics. He reported Wiscasset raised pay by $2 per hour for weekend workers. “There is a shortage of health care workers and we are all hiring from the same pool,” Ham said. “We need more full-time workers which will help us with our overtime costs. This budget includes hiring one additional full-time person which should help.”
Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library requested $54,000 which is $2,000 more than voters approved in May. The library requested $52,500 from Boothbay Harbor and $2,000 from Edgecomb. Executive Director Joanna Breen reported the library has a full staff for the first time in two years. The library has also worked toward expanding services beyond its Boothbay Harbor location. The library began holding a weekly summer story time at Clifford Park. The library has hosted an Earth Day celebration for the past three years at the library.
“We have the only real green space in downtown Boothbay Harbor and Earth Day acts like a hub for the whole community. Last year, 10 organizations participated in Earth Day so it showcases the library and intersects with the environment,” Breen said.
Boothbay Region Community Resource Council requested a $1,000 increase. The council is asking for $6,000 from both Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. Addiction Outreach Coordinator Holly Stover explained for 15 years the community navigator was a unique program providing food, fuel, housing and counseling needs. “Last year, Boothbay gave $5,000 and Boothbay Harbor contributed $4,000. Stover reported the council had saved both towns money in administrative costs as well as maximizing services. “That $9,000 generated $71,256 worth of services. That’s an 8:1 ratio,” she said. “I travel around the state a lot, and there is no program like this. This shows we are a caring community which makes me proud to be part of.”
Other organizations requesting municipal contributions are American Legion Post 36, $500; American Red Cross, $500; Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Cemetery District, $18,000; Boothbay Region Community Center, $3,500; Boothbay Region Community Television, $30,000; Boothbay Region Nurses Association, $12,532; Boothbay Region Senior Citizens, $1,000. All seven organizations requested the same amount last year, and voters approved all seven requests.
New Hope for Women requested $960 and received $915 this year. LifeFlight Foundation requested $780, but received no funding this year. Maine Public Television requested $100 for next year and received no funding this year.