There may be many thorny controversies in Davis, but saving the Explorit Science Center isn’t one them.
The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously and with little comment to give a $20,000 grant to Explorit to help buoy the nonprofit center for one year.
More than a week earlier, Explorit representatives asked the council for money to help keep their hands-on science and learning center alive. Without the funding, they said, Explorit wouldn’t have enough cash to operate past New Year’s Eve.
One possible sticking point for the council was the appearance of helping one worthy nonprofit in a town of many worthy such agencies. But those concerns were sidelined Tuesday night in favor of keeping the science center operating.
As he voted, Mayor Joe Krovoza said he would work to find ways for the city to help also in non-monetary ways, such as donating the use of some of the city communications director’s efforts. Next year, the vote could come back to the council “to decide whatever they want to do.”
Lars Anderson, Explorit board president, said the organization had a $350,000 budget last year and he considers the $20,000 city grant part of an encouraging sign that the community would help keep the center running.
“I consider it a bridge to make (Explorit) more sustainable,” he said, blaming much of the decline in philanthropic giving on the financial crisis that began in 2008.
But the city is not the only avenue Explorit is pursuing. Anderson said the science center also is working with the Davis school district and its donors, while exploring new ways to raise money.
— Reach Dave Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews