Taylor Six/The Register 

The Richmond City Commission discussed how many people are using charities at its recent meeting.

Reports from the city of Richmond officials say the number of citizens using the community Charity Tracker program has increased by more than 4,000 recipients and about 30 additional charities.

The information was presented after Order 20-71, which establishes an agreement and provision of services with the program's director, Amanda Agee, was approved at Tuesday night's commission meeting.

The Charity Tracker Program — an online cloud-based database that local charities can connect to in order to keep track of resources — saw a 20% increase in the number of new cases from January 2019 to 2020, about 4,426 new recipients, Minerich said.

He got the information from an update provided by Agee.

He said for those who weren't familiar, this program tracks those who receive aid in the community, and that it is done so evenly to prevent people from double dipping in services.

With the increase in people using services, Commissioner Jason Morgan said this could be viewed as concerning.

"One way to look at it, is we have 4,000 people needing assistance in our community, and another way to look at it, is if we have increased the number of charities using the tracker," he said. "I would like more detail. I am going to be extremely concerned if we have 4,000 new recipients."

Commissioner Jacob Grant then brought to the attention of his colleagues that in the report, he noticed an increase in the number of charities participating and offering assistance to the community had doubled, if not tripled.

"Which is pretty astonishing," he said.

Minerich reported, to his knowledge, Agee received a grant that would no longer require charities to pay a fee to participate, which he claimed could contribute to the increase in those services.

The city manager hopes to have Agee at an upcoming Richmond Commission meeting to help address questions of other members, and give a more in-depth update.

Other business

The fiscal year 2021 budget was passed unanimously in the second reading by the commission in the amount of $28,671,692.

• Order 20-65 was approved. It established the new City Attorney Tyler Frazier as the Alcoholic Beverages Control Administrator of the city.

• Kordel Day's resignation was approved from the Richmond Fire Department.

• Shannon Valle, Addison Adkin, Kate Knight, Jindriska Skees, Austin Moore and Rebecca Bates were approved as candidates for hire for the Richmond Police Department. Additionally, Jedidiah Hetrick was approved for an alternative for hire.

• Jason Friend of RFD was promoted to Master Patrol.

• A salt bid was awarded to Detroit Salt Company, of Michigan, to provide the city's salt for the winter.

• John Daugherty was transferred from the Administrative Department, to the Finance Department to serve in capacity as the department's clerk.

• After an executive session, Cody Pollard was voted to be terminated from his position with the city.

• During the city's manager report, Rob Minerich informed the city that the annual fireworks display would take place at Lake Reba, Saturday, July 4, at 10 p.m. He told the commission the park would open regularly, but that vendors would not be open for the celebration as in previous years because of the coronavirus. Additionally, that morning at 9 a.m., the city will unveil the new mural at Millstone Park with a special ceremony.

The next Richmond City Commission meeting is scheduled to be held July 14 at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on the city's Facebook page and on the live access channel 376.

Reach Taylor Six at 624-6623 or follow her on Twitter @TaylorSixRR.

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