As the Mitchell City Council gears up to begin 2022 budgeting sessions, a committee is recommending to trim about $90,000 from the requested subsidy applications that were submitted.
Each year, the city reviews subsidy applications submitted by local nonprofit organizations, which are then reviewed by a committee made up of council members. Combining all of the subsidy applications that were submitted, a total of $611,540 was requested. But the council committee is recommending trimming the amount to $522,800, according to City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein.
“If you would go up from the recommended amount, you would need to make cuts from either contingency funds or elsewhere to balance those out,” Ellwein said during the Sept. 27 council meeting.
Among the 11 organizations that submitted subsidy applications, the Prehistoric Indian Village’s request of $17,000 is the lone organization that the committee is recommending to reject due to the application not being completed in full.
Ellwein said the Prehistoric Indian Village “omitted their financials” from the application, which she noted has been an application requirement every year.
Council member Susan Tjarks explained there were some technical issues that the leaders of the organization experienced during the online application process.
“It was the first year they submitted their application electronically, and Cindy Gregg (Indian Village executive director) had every intention of including those financials. They didn’t go through for whatever reason, and as soon as she knew they were missing, she immediately sent them over,” Tjarks said, urging the committee to reconsider rejecting the application.
Tjarks pointed to the impact the Indian Village has on the local tourism industry, along with the “great things” the organization does for the community.
“I don’t think we look at our subsidy requests and say ‘Let’s see if we can find a reason to deny their funding,’ especially for an organization that does a lot of things for our community,” Tjarks said of the Indian Village, which is one of the tourism attractions that draws visitors each year.
Of the 11 applications that were included in the 2022 budget, the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Regional Economic Development, Mitchell Exchange Club Fireworks show and LifeQuest are proposed to receive the full amount of subsidy funds they requested.
The CVB -- which is the organization that works under the umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce and markets the city, jobs and tourism attractions, to name some of the work they perform -- is requesting the most funds, amounting to $250,000, followed by the Mitchell Area Development Corporation’s request of $167,000. The CVB’s subsidy funding comes from the entertainment tax, not the general fund.
Among the subsidy applications that are proposed to be trimmed are Mitchell Main Street and Beyond, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Dakota Counseling, Mitchell Area Safehouse and the Mitchell Municipal Band.
Dakota Counseling is proposed to see the largest cut from its initial request of $62,000. The committee is recommending to approve $14,300 of the initial request, which would slash the amount by roughly $48,000. The Mitchell Area Safehouse’s request of $15,000 is recommended to be cut to $4,500, while Mitchell Main Street and Beyond’s $35,000 request is proposed to be trimmed down to $25,000, marking a $10,000 cut from the initial application.
The council will meet for budgeting work sessions at 5 p.m. Oct. 18, prior to the regular scheduled meeting at 6 p.m.