City will use reserve funding
The Green River City Council made it evident they value community programs at Tuesday’s city council meeting.
In order to give city staff some direction for the finalization of the city budget set for June 21, the decision of how much money each community program asking for funds will receive was decided by consensus.
Each council member voiced their opinions down the line for fund amounts to each program including the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, Green River Food Bank, Golden Hour Senior Center, Youth Home, Historic Preservation, Sweetwater Family Resource Center, Flaming Gorge Days, Green River Chamber of Commerce, Drug Treatment Court, Juvenile Accountability Block Grant, Star Transit, YWCA Family Justice Center and Life RU Ready.
Each program will receive less than they were asking for, but more than the city can afford without taking out of the city’s risk management fund, which is the city’s savings account.
“We saved this for a rainy day, as far as I’m considered, it’s raining,” Councilman Ted Barney said.
“As I’ve said before and I’m sticking to it, we need to take care of our kids and our seniors,” Councilman Brett Stokes said.
The council decided not to fund the RSVP this year, though the food bank will receive $18,000.
GHSC will receive $18,000 as well.
“We need to take care of them,” Stokes said of the seniors.
The council agreed unanimously.
The youth home will receive $7,200.
“The youth home is a huge thing,” Stokes said. “It needs to be funded.”
On the other hand, the Historical Preservation Fund won’t receive funds.
“It’s not that we don’t value the program,” Mayor Pete Rust said. “It’s priorities.”
The Sweetwater Family Resource Center will receive $3,300.
The Flaming Gorge Days Committee will receive $15,000. Some council members voted not to fund the event at all because no one from the committee showed up to the council meeting. Many council members voiced their disappointment with the committee’s lack of presence at the meeting.
“I find it disturbing nobody from Flaming Gorge Days showed up,” Stokes said. “They’re asking for money and no one can show up?”
The Chamber of Commerce will receive $90,000, Drug Treatment Court will receive $8,000. The Juvenile Accountability Block Grant will receive $300. Star Transit will receive $10,000, YWCA Family Justice Center will receive $10,000 and Life RU Ready will receive $4,000.
The total of all funds going to each program added up to more than what was previously decided on for the budget. The community service grants totaled $183,500; an amount higher than previously recommended $147,000 recommended by the finance committee. The city will need to make up the difference of about $36,500 somehow.
“You have two options,” City Finance Director Chris Meats said. “Either option is feasible.”
The options were to use funds from the city’s savings account and risk-management fund to make up for the difference or to increase operational cuts within the departments. The council decided to use savings instead of cut more than the city already has.
“I will do what the consensus was tonight. We will take from the risk-management fund. It was the last bit of direction we needed to finalize the budget for June 21,” Meats said. “It’s not a lot of cushion. You can only go to your savings account so many times.”