Aug 04, 2022

Great Bend reconsidering outside agency funding process

Posted Aug 04, 2022 9:00 PM

By COLE REIF
Great Bend Post

Each year prior to the budget being finalized, outside agencies go before the Great Bend City Council requesting funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The Great Bend Public Library, Golden Belt Humane Society, Barton County Fair and Great Bend Economic Development are just a few of the entities asking for funding based on their services they provide the city.

In recent years, there have been select agencies that fail to have anyone attend the meeting to present their budget requests. When asked to fill out a request form, the city asks for the agency’s list of services, previous budget, expenditures, revenue sources and reasons for their request. Agencies have left parts of the form blank or make city officials hunt down the information.

While knowing there are certain organizations that the city has to fund, Great Bend City Council member Cory Urban suggested revising how the city goes about financing outside agencies.

"At what point is this the city's job to fund some of these specific agencies?" asked Urban. "It's tax dollars from everybody directly getting put out to somebody else. Most of them are nonprofits that are looking for all the money they can find, and I get that, but I think if we're not mandated to be funding them, maybe we need to readdress who all we send this letter out to."

City Administrator Kendal Francis said changes to the agency request form will include a detailed list of services provided, specifically to Great Bend. The city also wants to know what services would not be provided without city funding.

"If I'm making a recommendation to you (city council), I need to be able to give you information for a reason why," said Francis. "I don't want it to ever look political. We need to be able to base a reason because of the information we have. It takes any speculation out of it."

There were eight outside agencies that requested funding for the 2023 budget.