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Members of Springfield’s City Council listened to pleas from some of the 12 non-profit service providers possibly facing cuts in the upcoming budget. And by the end of today’s lunch meeting, it appeared some of the organizations could get a reprieve. KSMU’s Missy Shelton was at the council luncheon and files this report.
One by one, representatives from groups like the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, Urban Districts Alliance and the Mayor’s Commission on Children came to the podium. They expressed concern over what proposed cuts in city funding would mean for their organizations. Council is considering 485 thousand dollars in cuts to agencies and non-profits that have service contracts with the city.Melissa Haddow is executive director of the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. She says her agency uses city money to draw down other funds.
After hearing from the various agencies that do contractual work for the city, Mayor Jim O’Neal urged council to take a step back. One of the council committees agreed to look for ways to provide at least some funding. Even with this effort to find funding, O’Neal cautioned the non-profit service providers that there would likely still be painful budget cuts.
Unacceptable, according to O’Neal because these services have a direct impact on citizens. Springfield City Manager Greg Burris brought the budget proposal to council, including the cuts to the non-profits. He says it was very hard for him to propose cutting their funds but he sees few alternatives in a budget that’s already thin.
The council committee will come back in 2 weeks with suggestions for how to provide some funding for the agencies that meet the most pressing community needs.