FARMINGTON — Farmington's Community Relations Commission could see its funding cut in half for the coming fiscal year.
The commission received $20,000 in funding for fiscal year 2013. That funding level could be reduced to $10,000 in fiscal year 2014, which begins in July. City officials say the funding reduction will have little to no effect on the commission's operations and outreach programs.
“That level of funding would be consistent with the actual level of spending of the commission in 2013,” said Mayor Tommy Roberts in a phone interview Monday afternoon.
Commissioners had few comments about the budget cut at Monday evening's monthly commission meeting.
The commission's largest expense in 2013 was a $5,000 allocation to cosponsor the 16th Creating Cultural Harmony Conference with the San Juan County Partnership in February. The event is organized every other year by the partnership and is held at San Juan College.
The conference will not be held in 2014, and the commission has budgeted less money for travel, Roberts said.
“That should allow the commission to adequately cover any requests for support, or education and outreach efforts that the commission may want to consider,” he said.
Bob Campbell, assistant city manager, said the commission spent between $13,000 and $14,000 last year, including the $5,000 spent on cosponsoring the cultural conference.
The commission spends $8,500 on radio advertisements each year.
“We may have to cut back on that,” Campbell said.
Any money left over from the commission's yearly funding allocation is rolled back into the city's general fund and is not available to the commission for the following year, he said.
Campbell said that funding cultural, education and outreach programs is one of the commission's most important roles in the community.
Education outreach to elementary school-aged children is especially important, Roberts said.
“I think we have to emphasize to our children that there's an importance in racial diversity and cultural diversity,” he said.