Organizations submit funding requests to the SAR Council

ROCK SPRINGS – At a special Rock Springs City Council meeting tonight, representatives from various organizations and agencies presented council with their budget requests for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Prior to the presentations, Mayor Tim Kaumo said the goal was to have conversations with the agencies to see where they were at. Every organization and every department in the city has been asked to reduce their budget requests by about 30 percent.

“This city council would like to do what’s right and what we think we can do at this point,” Kaumo said.

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Most of the conversation revolved around the request for the joint disclosure of joint credentials.

Joint Powers Combined Communications executive director Rick Hawkins said after receiving requests for budget cuts, the maximum to which the group had progressed was around 25%. However, this could lead to job cuts and could cause funding entities to cover costs. Hawkins said he cut his budget by 15% and asked Rock Springs for $ 1.22 million.

Kaumo said the total was $ 2.842 million, divided into three parts, with Rock Springs covering 43%, Green River with 32% and Sweetwater County paying 25%. That means Rock Springs will pay around $ 1.22 million for its part.

With past cuts, they used reserves to cover these costs. They will not have a general fund reserve or 911 reserves. As for the amount they charge for 911 calls, it is already at the maximum and it cannot be increased unless the Wyoming legislature changes the law to do so.

Since 2012, the center has approximately 25 employees, including 20 dispatchers. Hawkins said there were four shifts with five employees on each shift. They also have combined support for equipment, software and information technology.

“Do you think 25 employees is too many employees?” Kaumo asked.

Kaumo said they had visited Laramie County and eight to nine employees were managing their entire system. Kaumo said he believed that over time the staff would have shrunk due to attrition now. Councilor Keaton West said he believed he paid between $ 300,000 and $ 400,000 to operate the dispatch center.

Hawkins said he has an entity headed by an executive director who responds to the Laramie County Commission.

Councilor David Halter said there really isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison as it is the state’s only combined communications dispatch center. He said their budget also varies a bit because their dispatch center is located in the city police department and the county helps pay for the service. He said it was difficult to say where the money was coming from because it was covered by various budgets.

“I think we are operating within our means at the center,” said Halter.

Other requests

Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport Executive Director Devon Brubaker said none of their measures looked good for last year due to COVID-19. They have received relief funds for COVID-19, but they can only be spent in certain areas. The request for operating income is $ 195,050; and $ 169,904 to fund SkyWest air service. Approximately $ 300,000 in reserves will be used to help carry over the budget.

Community Fine Arts Director Debra Soule said that since we were unable to organize any events, CCAF has around $ 18,000 to carry forward. The CCFC is asking $ 6,200 this year. The CFAC is considering cuts to the county, which will result in a decrease in staffing hours, which Soule will cover herself.

Sweetwater County Library Director Jason Grubb said they had to make adjustments for the county’s demand and cut their demand by 30%. In order to make the cuts, they will not invest in programs for adults and children. The money requested will be used for the upkeep and upkeep of the building. If the funding could come back, they would like it to go to youth programs. They have asked for $ 14,600 and are hoping their Library Foundation can help cover some of the cuts.

STAR Transit Authority director Mary Seppie said she reduced her initial request by 30% for what she requested last year, which originally stood at $ 42,911. However, they subsequently cut their request after the COVID-19 pandemic struck. They will also seek funding from the County and Town of Green River.

“I feel like we are providing a very important service,” Seppie said.

Red Desert Roundup Rodeo Treasurer Lauren Reed said she canceled last year’s event due to COVID-19. Reed said they decided to cut Thursday night’s performance due to low ticket sales to cut 15%. In 2019, they asked for $ 12,000; and this year their request is $ 8,400. They were not eligible for any funding related to COVID-19.

Misty Wilson, of the Young at Heart Senior Center, said they were. To reduce the budget by around 35%, they are not going to fill positions currently open including a kitchen, public relations, outreach coordinator and cleaning positions. They asked for $ 43,000 this year.

Rick Lee, CEO of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce, asked for $ 27,651, which is a 30 percent decrease as requested by Council. He said they get a lot of requests for information on relocation, which is a good thing.

The Sweetwater County Treatment Court asked for $ 6,000, a decrease of 33%.

All requests compared to last year’s requests are shown in the graph below.

External agency 2021-2022 Budget requests 2020-21 Budget requests
Community Center of Fine Arts $ 6,200 $ 15,400
Rock Springs Library $ 14,600 $ 23,085
Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce $ 27,651 $ 39,501
STAR transport authority $ 30,038 $ 32,186
Red Desert Roundup Rodeo $ 8,400 $ 12,000
Sweetwater County Treatment Court $ 6,000 $ 9,000
Common powers Combined communications $ 1.22 million $ 1.8 million
Southwestern Wyoming Regional Airport $ 195,050 / Operations
$ 169,904 / Air service
$ 435,000
Young at Heart Seniors Center $ 43,000 $ 61,375

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