Nonprofits Speak to Casper Council About Cut Funding
At the Casper City Council meeting on Tuesday, several people representing various nonprofits in the community came forward to voice their opposition to the city's most recent one-cent proposal.
In the previous work session, the council talked about how they would allocate funding from the one-cent tax, assuming it passes in November, and their proposal cut funding for nonprofits.
The proposal from the city included $3 million for community assistance, however, there were $17 million dollars that the city wasn't funding, though $14 million of that came from an ice arena expansion project.
In response, people like Anna Wilcox, Director of Learning and Development Wyoming Nonprofit Network, said that for every dollar the city invests in nonprofits like them, they get $10 back.
Almost every council member talked about how much they understand the importance of nonprofits and that they will be looking back at the funding to see if they can reallocate some funds towards Casper nonprofits.
Wilcox said that they plan to send the council information before the next work session on the importance of funding nonprofits in the community and what would happen if they don't receive funding in the next cycle.
Council member Bruce Knell said that part of the reason there was little funding for nonprofits in the proposal was because of a survey the city conducted showing community items at 14th out of 16th in importance.
Wilcox said part of the reason they were low on the list is a lot of people don't understand the services that nonprofits provide to the community, and that the survey may not represent the voices of those that use those services.
"The one thing that I would note, is that we all drive the streets every day, so we all feel the potholes, we all see all these other infrastructure needs," Wilcox said. "People aren't seeing the need for these services because they're currently being provided. So with this funding, the ability to provide those services makes the community less aware that those problems even exist in some cases. So I would imagine, and I don't have a crystal ball, I wish I did, but I would imagine that if we didn't see funding like this in the future, that if you were to redo a survey like that, you'd actually probably see some of those services higher."
A fifteen-year-old came up to the council to say how important the Natrona County Public Library is to them, their education, and feeling supported by the community.
Council member Kyle Gamroth said that, as someone who used the public library when he was younger, he thinks it's very important to provide it funding.
The council didn't make any decisions on Tuesday about where the city would allocate one-cent funding, but they will discuss it again at their work session on July 12.
Casper city manager Carter Napier said that while his office put together the original proposal, he thinks they will wait to see what the council decides at their next work session before they put together another proposal.
Napier said he hopes to have something by the end of July and would hate to go later than that.