In 2009, former mayor Don Houseman donated $60,000 to the city, to use for scholarships for University Park employees’ children.
In 2010, the first round of scholarships were doled out to 15 students. The students were chosen based on academic merit and financial need, and more than $20,000 was awarded.
The problem now, though, is how the city can keep this up.
During a discussion prior to yesterday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Dick Davis and the councilmen discussed the funding issues but stopped short of developing a sustainable model to keep the scholarships alive.
Davis suggested a small fee —25 to 50 cents— on each utility bill; the money earned would be put toward the scholarship fund. Though residents could opt out of the fee, some councilmen and staff viewed the charge as a tax, a tax they weren’t willing to levy.
The final consensus? Let’s discuss this later.
The Council kicked it back to a committee charged with operating the scholarships. In the next weeks and months, the committee will try to develop a model to raise the money privately.