July 11, 2008

Feds may be able to help the Bristol VNA

There may be alternative sources of funding for the Greater Bristol Visiting Nurse Association’s charity program.
Mayor Art Ward said Friday that he believes that U.S. Rep. John Larson, the East Hartford Democrat whose district includes Bristol, may be able to steer the group to new sources of revenue.
“There might be an alternate source of funding for them,” Ward said.
The mayor, the VNA and Larson’s staff plan to meet Tuesday to explore options, the mayor said.
“It’s definitely worth exploring,” Ward said.
The city wiped out $70,000 worth of aid to the nonprofit this year – leaving just $100 in its budget for the VNA – as part of an effort to pare spending and hold down property taxes.
The move shocked VNA officials, who are as a consequence eyeing a big reduction in the free and reduced price care they can offer to the city’s poor.
The organization provides well child clinics that offer immunizations to uninsured children and hundreds of home care visits to the city’s indigent or underinsured to try to help them remain in their homes.
Ward said the VNA, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, performs “a great service and I think it’s invaluable to the community.”
But, he said, the city can’t come up with aid for the group this year.
Municipal officials have asked the VNA to dip into its $1.5 million rainy day fund to cover the lost revenue this year, but the association’s leaders said that doing so would be fiscally irresponsible.
The city itself has more than $17 million in its rainy day fund. It didn’t tap into the cash for its budget this year because finance officials said that touching the money would hurt Bristol’s credit rating and ultimately cost taxpayers more.
Ward said the city would review its funding for the VNA during the next budget cycle in the spring and might be able to restore the help.But, he said, it would be better if the state or federal government stepped in to fill the gap since they have far more resources to bring to bear.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like Art and John are using the VNA as a political football.

Art punted and now Larson will run it back for a TD

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent idea by Mayor Ward. It is exactly the kind of thing that the Feds can help with thanks to the knowledge and leadership of Congressman Larson. It is very wise for Mayor Ward to make the effort to reach out and try making sure the least fortunate in Bristol are not victimized by this recession and the tight budget this recession has caused.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
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Anonymous said...

The decision to eliminate VNA funding is a devious,heartless political scheme hatched by that incompetent boob in the comptroller’s office. Meanwhile, over a million dollars lies dormant in a fund for retiree health care created by that same office. This fund was established to satisfy the GASB 45 yet if you read the language, it is not a proper trust , doesn’t qualify as GASB funding, and retiree health care continues to be funded pay-as-you-go. It is obvious that VNA is being used as a pawn in contract negotiations. It is one thing when bad decisions and incompetence costs taxpayers money but picking on the neediest among us for political gain is going too far.

Anonymous said...

being that the economic climate isn't affording the local governments the ability for lending any support for many of these groups, I commend mayor ward for taking the initiative and not giving up on helping those less fortunate and in need of services.

Anonymous said...

Thank you city leaders for wiping out the VNA funding. I figure you saved me about $1.05 on my taxes. I'll donate it to the VNA.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...
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Anonymous said...

3:04pm - commendable but again, someone peeing in the wind without a positive resolution - hope that you have wipers on your contact lenses.

Anonymous said...

10:52

Was that the only place to cut costs?

Anonymous said...

total passing of the buck. Disgusting.