Metro

Providence College ups payments to city

New multimillion dollar donation answers Taveras’ call for non-profits to help city

By
Contributing Writer
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Providence College announced it will pay $3.84 million to the city in additional funds over the next 10 years, joining several other local tax-exempt institutions that provide voluntary aid to help ameliorate Providence’s financial strife.

The private school has agreed to contribute $1 million of the total sum upon final approval of the deal by the City Council, and the new payments will supplement the $264,000 the school has been giving annually since 2003.

Upon taking office, Mayor Angel Taveras encountered a $110 million structural deficit, and in February 2012 asked the city’s major non-profits — including Brown — to collectively contribute an additional $7.1 million annually to help rescue the city from potential bankruptcy. After months of heated negotiations, the University agreed last May to contribute an additional $3.9 million in 2012 for a total $31.5 million over 11 years. The agreement roughly doubled the University’s annual payments to the city, increasing them from $4 million to $7.9 million. Brown’s payments amount to about 1.2 percent of its $663 million annual operating budget. Providence College’s $580,000 annual contribution makes up .3 percent of its $160 million budget.

Both academic institutions received concessions with strategic value in exchange for their additional payments to the city, said Steven Maurano, assistant vice president of public affairs and community relations for Providence College. Providence College “is receiving portions of three city streets that are all adjacent to or bisect the college campus” as part of their agreement, he said. Brown, he added, has received portions of two or three city streets it has long sought, as well as parking leases.

“Feedback has been good thus far” from both the Providence College community and the city, Maurano said. He added that the $3.84 million is not being withdrawn from the operating funds of the university, and that neither tuition dollars nor financial aid are compromised as a result of the deal.

Both the mayor and Providence College’s leadership have endorsed the deal, but it awaits approval from the Providence City Council, which will meet Feb. 7.

If the City Council ratifies the deal, Taveras will have secured about $48 million in additional payments over ten years from the city’s non-profits.

In addition to Providence College and Brown, Care New England, CharterCARE Health Partners, Johnson and Wales University, Lifespan and the Rhode Island School of Design have all pledged additional funds.