Roeland Park prepares to establish community foundation

The Roeland Park City Council is moving towards establishing the Roeland Park Community Foundation, which would allow donors to make tax-deductible donations toward city activities.

Roeland Park Banner reviseThe council met with a representative of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation last week and will likely use that group’s services to hold the funds, handle investments, track donations and file necessary tax documents. The GCKCC charges a minimum of $250 per year to maintain the accounts, but Roeland Park also will not need to file its own 501c3 applications or make the annual filings to keep it in compliance. Councilor Becky Fast commented that it would cost the city more than $250 to do its own tax filing each year.

If the council approves the recommendation this month, it would establish an advisory board that would determine distributions. The suggested mix for the advisory committee included the mayor, a council member, representatives from the parks, arts and sustainability committees, a citizen at large, and representatives of the business community.

City Administrator Aaron Otto, who would be an ex-officio member of the committee, said the Roeland Park Foundation could use the donations to help pay for city events, such as fireworks, or other community purposes.

Councilor Jennifer Gunby said the events committee has already been discussing how to coordinate city fundraising. Some other cities in the area have municipal foundations that received donations and then fund community projects.