The Grady County Board of Commissioners received a special request during its Tuesday meeting.
Representatives from the Zebulon Theater asked the commission to help them pay off a loan for a digital conversion system. The theater had been using an outdated film system.
The Zebulon Theater is seeking a $4,000 donation to help with the $12,000 they are short for the conversion.
Commission Chairman T.D. David said, “A while back, Richard Vanlandingham approached me and said the city was considering giving a $4,000 donation to the Zebulon and wanted to know if the county would consider donating, too. We may want to mull over this, if you will.”
The item came up suddenly on the commissioners’ agenda and they did not have the chance to discuss the matter prior to the meeting.
“We’ve made donations to other entities in the past, but I’m not sure if this is where we can best spend the county’s money — and that’s the way I feel,” said David.
It is legal for the commissioners to give to charitable organizations in the community but, according to County Attorney Kevin Cauley, discretion is required.
He said, “In the past, a number of charitable organizations have asked for county contributions and, generally, historically, from my experience, the county has not used taxpayers’ funds for charitable contributions. I would just consider that. It’s really your discretion.”
If the commissioners decide to make a donation to the Zebulon Theater it would be used to pay back the loan. Currently, they are $12,000 short of funds.
David said, “Let’s consider this and take it home to mull.”
Reporter Susanne Reynolds can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1826.