Local groups stumping for city funds

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Local groups are asking Carson City supervisors for more than $380,000 to support a variety of local programs.

Every year, nonprofit groups from Court Appointed Special Advocates to the Brewery Arts Center, Community Council on Youth to HealthSmart, vie for the $196,000 city supervisors set aside to help local groups.

Although $196,000 is set aside, supervisors often dig farther into city coffers to spread a little more money into the community, last year spending $295,500. Thursday, Carson City supervisors will hear from the 20 groups requesting a piece of the funding pie.

CASA, a program that provides volunteer advocates for children removed from their home for abuse and neglect, is asking the city for $30,0000. It received $10,000 last year. CASA Director Chris Bayer said a two-year, $20,000 a year grant ends this year which helps fund his position. The director's position is necessary to keep a program that serves 47 children going, Bayer said.

"The funding translates into somebody in the office who is able to answer phone calls, answer volunteers' (questions), someone who is able to attend hearings," he said. "It's pretty practical. It's the difference between being able to meet the needs and being able to function successfully or not. Most CASA originations in this state depend on county funding. We would like the city to help with the funding."

Mary Bryan, director of the Community Counseling Center, asked supervisors for $55,000 to help support detoxification and outpatient services for the treatment portion of the center's program.

"It is a huge part of our budget for the next year," she said. "Without it, we would not be able to do the services we provide. We didn't ask for more than we need."

Whether city leaders will be able to spend more than they traditionally set aside this year depends on how their 2002/2003 $44 million final budget shakes out. The city's annual two-evening budget session begins March 18 and wraps up March 25, and city officials will be going into the hearings with a few weighty issues in mind.

Wal-Mart and an estimated $1 million in sales tax are headed south to Douglas County. Also, a recent public safety master plan, for which supervisors will review a draft implementation plan Thursday, calls for millions in potential funding if city leaders want to implement it. Also, the city will have to pay more for the Western Nevada Regional Youth Center.

Carson City Finance Director David Heath said Wal-Mart's exit, which creates a potential deficit for the city, is the biggest issue leaders will have to grapple with. Facing that loss of income has forced the city to trim costs.

"We're sharpening our pencils," he said. "When you're going to take that big of a hit on the revenue side, you're going to have to do things better."

While Carson has the ability to raise property taxes up to 5 cents to fund the Silver Springs youth center, it is the only county where officials have opted not to tax residents for the center's upkeep.

Heath said with those two issues alone, city leaders may have to start thinking about property tax increases. How all this affects community funding remains to be seen.

"The board is sensitive to the needs of this community and seems to want to meet those needs," Heath said. "This year will be a challenge. We're going to make it, but it's becoming more of a challenge."

If you go:

What: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting

When: Thursday, 6 p.m.

Where: the Community Center's Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.

Groups requesting funding from Carson City supervisors include:

Organization request

The Meeting Place $7,500

Center for Independent Living $5,551

Court Appointed Special Advocates $30,000

Ormsby Association of Retarded Citizens $14,000

Nevada Day Committee $5,000

Home Health Services of Nevada $6,000

Community Counseling Center $55,000

Community Council on Youth $107,654

Retired Senior Volunteer Program $40,000

Advocates to End Domestic Violence $10,000

Nevada Hispanic Services $35,000

Brewery Arts Center $20,000

Carson Treatment Center $55,000

Nevada-Tahoe Conservation District $9,500

Carson Valley Conservation District $10,000

HealthSmart $5,000

Capital City Humane Society $10,000

Capitol City Alano Club $5,000

Soroptimist International $3,000

Salvation Army $500

Senior Service Network $1,500

Total $380,205

Amount available $196,000

Amount funded last year $295,500


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