Council denies Redwood Foundation appeal for ARP funds

May 3—ANDERSON — With no representation from the Redwood Foundation, the Anderson City Council denied the request for American Rescue Plan funding.

The council voted Thursday 8-0 to deny the request for $62,000. Councilman Ollie H. Dixon was not in attendance.

The Redwood Foundation originally requested a grant of $246,000 for a Cure Violence Prevention Program through President Larry McClendon.

The $62,000 award was terminated on April 5 and the Redwood Foundation appealed the decision of the committee.

The denial letter said the committee received additional information from Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings.

"The grant committee considered the updated information provided by the Madison County Prosecutor and the Anderson Police Department, including a copy of a probable cause affidavit, and a copy of the filed formal charges, during the pre-award period," the denial letter stated.

The information included a search warrant on the residence of a Redwood Foundation board member, which included a gun used in a homicide and drugs.

"It is the consensus of the committee that this trust and confidence was severely harmed," the letter continued. "As a result, funding for the project previously identified for a potential award would not be in the best interests of the local and federal government," the denial letter stated.

In its appeal letter, the Redwood Foundation said the denial letter didn't state a basis that it would not provide the goals and objectives of the grant request.

The homicide was related to the arrest of Donavan Harris, who is awaiting trial on charges of murder, attempted armed robbery, dealing in narcotics and criminal confinement.

Harris is charged with the Nov. 24, 2023, shooting death of Julian Craig.

He is the son of Donita Thompson, a board member of the Redwood Foundation.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.