Leaders of the Lawrence Community Shelter are seeking a $45,000 increase in city funding for 2013, but they told city commissioners Tuesday they’re willing to match the city’s contributions dollar for dollar.
Officials with the homeless shelter proposed that the city participate in a “challenge grant” with the shelter. The program would involve the shelter starting a new fundraising campaign later this year. The city would agree to match private donations dollar for dollar, up to a maximum of $45,000. Shelter leaders made the request as part of a public hearing where commissioners solicited input on the 2013 budget.
Commissioners took no action on the request but said they would consider it as part of their budget process, which will conclude in August. A preliminary draft of the 2013 budget has the shelter receiving $55,000 in city funding. The $45,000 challenge grant would be in addition to the $55,000 allocation.
Several other residents also presented budget requests to commissioners. They included:
• Supporters of the Lawrence Children’s Choir asked for $14,000 in funding to make up for a loss in state funding. The organization is losing about $14,000 it previously received from the Kansas Arts Commission.
• Alan Cowles of the West Lawrence Neighborhood Association asked for funding to add traffic-calming devices to Harvard Road west of Wakarusa Drive. Traffic-calming devices for the neighborhood already have been approved by city commissioners, but funds have never been allocated for the project.
• Jeanne Pees with the Sunset Hills Neighborhood Association asked commissioners to consider funding for curb and gutter and sidewalk repairs in her neighborhood.
• Jim Mullins, a field representative for Americans for Prosperity, asked commissioners to not fund the city’s sustainability coordinator position. He pointed to Johnson County, which has defunded a similar position as part of a budget cutting strategy. He said the city could reallocate the work to other departments.