The Newnan Times-Herald

Local

Water Authority ‘round up’ program considered


  • By Sarah Fay Campbell
  • |
  • Oct. 05, 2017 - 9:51 PM

The Coweta County Water and Sewerage Authority is considering a program that would allow customers to “round up” their bills to the nearest dollar, with the proceeds benefiting the Coweta Community Foundation.

The proposed program has been dubbed “Drips.”

Ginger Queener of the Coweta Community Foundation spoke to the authority board this week about the proposed program.

The program’s name was the idea of Erin Marsh, the program and special events coordinator at the community foundation.

“It’s drips of water, drips of change, coming together to make one big pool,” Queener said.

Carroll County’s water authority recently started a round-up program, administered through the Community Foundation of West Georgia.

Coweta-Fayette EMC has had its Operation Round Up program for many years. Coweta Fayette makes direct grants each year out of the Operation Round Up funds.

The money from the proposed Drips program would go to the community foundation to benefit the local nonprofits that receive grants from the foundation.

“It gives you all the opportunity to offer your customers the ability to take their pennies or their dollars and put that in a fund where they can make a difference in this community,” Queener told the board. “There are tons of needs here. We see it every day.”

The Coweta Community Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations located in Coweta and to organizations that serve Coweta residents.

Grants are given on an annual cycle and last year, $50,000 was awarded, Queener said.

Queener said that the authority could set up parameters for the Drips grant fund. Currently, the foundation has several different funds such as grants for organizations that help senior citizens or grants for education programs. There is a grant fund that specifically helps nonprofits with fiduciary and legal issues. There is also the general grant fund.

But the authority wouldn’t be able to choose the specific organizations that would benefit from the Drips money, Queener said.

Authority board member Tim Higgins asked if the Drips fund could be a donor-advised fund where the authority could make recommendations.

The authority could set up something like that, Queener said, but that’s not what was envisioned.

Queener said Thursday that the Drips program could be expanded to any sort of utility company, as well as other companies that bill customers on a monthly basis.

The authority board didn’t take any action on the program at this week’s meeting.

Board attorney Melissa Griffis said she wanted to review the documents that Queener had provided. “I think the board was under the impression that they would get to choose the nonprofit partners,” Griffis said.

“We just need to get some information on that and clear that up,” Griffis said.

For more information about community foundation programs, call 770-253-1833 or email info@cowetafoundation.org