Local nonprofits and agencies will be getting a budget boost or a slight setback after decisions made Tuesday by Durango city councilors.
4CORE, La Plata Youth Services, and Trails 2000 had their budget wishes granted from the city, but La Plata County Humane Society and Durango Area Tourism Office will both need to make do with less.
The Durango Area Tourism Office will not likely be receiving any additional money to keep the Santa Rita Park Welcome Center staffed.
Instead, the city is going to try to work with the office to identify other ways to keep it open using the existing budget.
The council might consider boosting DATO’s budget by $40,000 if money can’t be found to staff the Welcome Center. However, Mayor Dean Brookie believes the city’s spending on marketing is likely sufficient.
“I don’t quite buy that we are falling behind,” Brookie said.
4CORE, the Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency, will receive $27,000 a bit more than the $20,500 proposed by the city manager and an unforeseen new contract.
The council hopes to challenge 4CORE to do more for the city than the HomeRx program that educates residents on how to make their homes more efficient and offers some rebates.
The boost in 4CORE’s budget comes as councilors prepare to revisit the Climate and Energy Action Plan, which was developed to help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.
The council would like 4CORE to spend the money within city limits on projects city staff members are not yet addressing, but the council did not specify further what the 4CORE contract might cover. “We’re looking for progressive new things the city is not doing,” Brookie said.
La Plata Youth Services will be getting an extra $10,000 – for a total of $91,500 – from the city to serve mainly 11-to-17-year-old students who have committed a criminal offense or have problems with truancy.
The extra money is coming from the La Plata County Humane Society’s budget, which will decline from $100,000 to about $90,000.
Councilors expressed frustration because the Humane Society has not pursued additional funding through dog-licensing fees, as they have directed in recent years. “They have an untapped revenue source,” said Councilor Christina Rinderle.
Trails 2000 will see a budget boon because councilors decided to up their support from $8,000 to the full $21,000 the nonprofit requested. The councilors reasoned the nonprofit is caring for a city asset by building and maintaining trails, and therefore it is deserving of the boost. “If they weren’t doing it, we would have to do it,” said Councilor Keith Brant.
The City Council will finalize the budget in December.