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Council Approves FY14 Budget, Holds Off on Funding Request Decisions

Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

City councilors have approved Casper’s budget for fiscal year 2014. Casper City Council green-lighted the city’s proposed budget at a Wednesday work session.

Officials say the roughly $144 million budget for FY 2014 is about $3.2 million leaner compared the city’s budget for FY 2013.

Casper mayor Kenyne Schlager says council made minimal revisions to the proposed budget.

“The council, in a sense, essentially accepted the budget as written,” Schlager said. “We do have some funding – some council goals – that we had some discussions on, and we included some projects in there that are important to council, but, other than that, it’s pretty much the same.”

Council agreed to put $15,000 toward the Casper Fire-EMS combat fire team and $2,500 toward Tipsy Taxi. $115,000 was allocated for community promotions.

Council on Wednesday also placed a pair of requests from community outreach organizations for optional one-cent funding on the back burner.

Councilors agreed to revisit funding requests from Joshua’s Storehouse and the Mercer Family Resource Center at a later date. Schlager says council is expecting a spike in local requests for city aid in the wake of sweeping state and federal budget cuts.

“There will be budget cuts coming down,” Schlager said. “We really need to be prepared to have money available to step up for our agencies. In that sense, we need to stall a little bit so that we know what’s coming from the state, who’s going to get hit the hardest, and how we can, then, have the biggest impact for our citizens.”

At a May 14 work session, officials with Joshua’s Storehouse, an area food pantry, requested $267,000 that would be put toward the expansion of the organization’s warehouse in downtown Casper.

Officials with the Mercer Family Resource Center, which offers counseling to troubled families and children, requested $100,000 to resolve debt caused by state funding cutbacks.

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