The Laramie City Council will be discussing funding for the community partners program during their work session Tuesday night, in the midst of a tightening city budget.

Mayor Andrea Summerville said the community partners program – a city and county joint program- is funded through the 5th Cent tax approved by Laramie residents through a vote in 2014. As part of that program, local organizations can apply to receive some of that funding in the form of grant funds.

Summerville said the grants help fund agencies in Albany County that provide a service to the community in one way or another.

“Some partner agencies include the Albany County Library, Laramie Plains Civic center, some animal organizations, some of the domestic violence programs, the downtown health clinic, just a variety of programs that provide community services to the community in one realm or another,” Summerville said.

Last year, Summerville said, the community partner funding program was reduced 10 percent from the amount that the city gave out, due to the city’s budgetary concerns after a cut in State distribution funding. The city council will be taking a look at ways to maintain funding for the community partners program in light of state funding cuts.

Summerville said the City Council will be discussing the drops in funding to these partner agencies from state and agency funding, as well as the city’s local matching funds.

“That’s starting to have an effect on what kind of services they provide and how much programming they can provide,” Summerville said. “It’s going to be a very important conversation for us to look at.”

Summerville said many of the partner agencies provide what she considers to be critical services to the community and it would be devastating to the community to lose those services.

Summerville said the City Council fully supports the community partner program and is committed to keeping it funded.

“So it’s important to keep this program going and keep that funding out into the community,” Summerville said. “So, despite the difficulties that we are having both with the city budget, and I know some of the other agencies are having with their state reductions, I’m hopeful we can find a way forward to continue to make sure we can get these organizations funded.”

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