Casper Council Agrees to Propose Over $2 Million For Nonprofits From 1 Cent
At the Casper city council meeting on Tuesday, the council agreed to look into a proposal that would provide $2.25 million for nonprofits in grant funding.
In the last one-cent cycle, the city approved $3 million for use by nonprofits.
The council heard from members representing various nonprofits, including Anna Wilcox, the director of Learning and Development for the Wyoming Nonprofit Network, Kim Summerall-Wright, executive director of the Casper Housing Authority, and Angela Emery, executive director of the Platte River Trails.
They spoke about the importance of the services they provide to the community, and the members of the council agreed on the importance of those services.
Council member Jai-Ayla Sutherland said that providing funding for nonprofits would be helpful to their constituents.
"I think for me it really comes back to our strategy and what are the goals we're willing to see, what are we trying to see in our community, as a council, what can the city do," Sutherland said. "How can we partner with these organizations to extend our reach so that we can fill some of our potholes but also understand where some of the gaps are in our police enforcement, and just thinking about this more comprehensively and in a more complex manner."
Carter Napier, Casper city manager, showed the council that if one-cent funding went away, rates for pools, water, and sewer would increase.
The pools managed by the city would need to charge an extra $7.25 for admission in order to stay afloat if there's no one-cent funding.
Though Napier acknowledged that it's possible if they raise the rates, they might see a drop in attendance, further impacting funding for the various pools run by the city.
The initial proposal from the city would have cut $650,000 to the pools, or half the subsidy, one million for a design for a new Fire Station 1 roof, and $600,000 in fiber optics installation matching funds.
Napier said that they would be able to find an extra million dollars for the fire station from the opportunities fund.
Another proposal, which the council agreed to, cut all the same funding except instead of cutting funding for pools, it cut the same amount of funding for HVAC repairs.
Napier said that the process for deciding how the money will be handed out to nonprofits in the form of grants, will be decided at a later date and that he hopes to have a final one-cent proposal before the council in a regular session sometime soon.
Mayor Ray Pacheco said at the end of the meeting that it's important for people to be able to compromise to get things done.
"I've come to the realization that when politics and government works, it works because we have to work together and make compromises," Pacheco said. "And I know a lot of people say, well if you make compromises you give away your values, and I don't think that's the case. You can have your values and you stand by your values, but I think the compromises for the betterment of the community."