Tuesday, September 2, 2008

County not currently funding Lancaster Alliance

In response to an inquiry by NewsLanc at the Tuesday County Commissioners' work session, it was revealed that no county funds are being provided this year to the controversial Lancaster Alliance.

Chairman Dennis Stuckey revealed that the Lancaster Alliance came to the County earlier this year asking for a $50,000 donation, but the Commissioners turned them down, out of a commitment not to spend outside this year's budget. (The budget was the work product of the outgoing commissioners.)

Asked what they understand the Lancaster Alliance to be, Commissioner Craig Lehman said, "My understanding is that it's a group of business people committed to the revitalization of the downtown" - a description with which Stuckey appeared to concur.

The Aug. 22nd Lancaster Post had suggested that the Lancaster Alliance may be in violation of its federal 501(c)3 status as a not-for-profit organization because its main sponsors and contributors are the direct or indirect beneficiaries of large government grants. For example, High, Lancaster Newspapers, Fulton and Wachovia are heavily involved with the Convention Center / Hotel project and Franklin & Marshal is directly or indirectly benefiting from millions of dollars in state aid.