City Council Approves Funding For Three Non-Profits

OCEAN CITY – The Mayor and City Council vote to approve funding for two local feral cat organizations and a child advocacy organization, despite Worcester’s County’s denial.
City Manager David Recor explained at an April 2013 budget hearing Budget Manager Jennie Knapp reviewed the annual special appropriation requests. All were approved as presented except for three that were approved with conditions.
According to Recor, the Mayor and City Council approved funding of $1,500 for the Delmarva Cat Connection and $2.500 for Town Cats contingent upon a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Mayor and City Council.
The MOU required a written endorsement from a Worcester County Health Officer of the proposed cat management plans; however, the county is not in support of cat colony management plans.
“They support the program but they want constant follow-up shots for the feral cats, so they would have to be trapped yearly in order for the county to approve the program,” Councilman Joe Mitrecic clarified.
Recor furthered, the council also moved to appropriate $14,333 to the Cricket Center contingent upon and proportionate to Worcester County’s funding.
“The original condition was that would be matched by Worcester County,” Recor said. “Unfortunately it does not appear Worcester County approved any money for the Cricket Center, and to date it does not appear that subject has been revisited.”
Councilman Doug Cymek made a motion to approve funding for all three organizations totaling a special appropriation of $18,333. The council voted unanimously to approve.
“I find it unconsciousable as far as the County Commissioners that they would not fund a child advocacy group,” Cymek said. “We put out a match a couple years ago when they did match it but they turned their backs on us this year, and I find it appalling.”
Councilman Brent Ashley voiced his support of the Cricket Center.
“The Cricket Center is a wonderful group, it is a fine organization,” he said. “The hesitation at first was it was a large appropriation for a new charity but with that being said they do a wonderful job and I will support this.”
Officially founded in 1998, Town Cats is the evolution of several independent efforts that began in 1992 to manage the area’s feral cat population and breeding. Town Cats was formed with the “primary mission” of promoting the spaying and neutering of feral cats as well as providing food, shelter and vaccinations.
The Delmarva Cat Connection was founded in 2001 by a handful of volunteers who were previously in cat rescue work.  These volunteers saw the need for a foster cat care network organization on the Delmarva Peninsula. The Delmarva Cat Connection is dedicated to promoting the sterilization, vaccination, fostering and adoption of stray cats in Delmarva.
The mission of the CRICKET Center is to provide a comprehensive, culturally competent, multidisciplinary team approach to the investigation, prosecution and treatment of child physical and sexual abuse in a child-friendly environment. This collaborative team response will enhance the investigative process, facilitate the prosecution of those who commit these crimes in Worcester County, minimize the trauma of abuse for the child victim and the non-offending family members, prevent further victimization, and promote emotional healing for the child victim and family.