Chalk art in front of Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions in May 2020 in Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Services for thousands of Casper-area kids and families could be impacted should a “one-cent” optional sales tax grant program supporting nonprofit organizations be eliminated.

Some of the nonprofit organizations that received support from the City of Casper’s share of countywide one-cent revenues during the current four-year cycle released a document Thursday detailing how the loss of support would be a setback to the services they provide. The document was prepared to help inform the City Council’s discussion before it makes a final decision about one-cent priorities:

City staff’s proposal to eliminate the one-cent grant program supporting nonprofits during the next four-year one-cent cycle — should voters decide to renew the optional sales and use tax this November — was presented to the City Council during its June 28 work session. Staff selected a handful of nonprofits that would still receive some one-cent support, but grant funding for many would go away if the City Council doesn’t modify the proposal.

City staff chose not to give the nonprofits that would be impacted any heads-up about the proposal ahead of the June 28 work session; some directors told Oil City during a Zoom call on Wednesday that they learned about it from a June 30 news article. When people with nonprofits came to the City Council’s July 5 meeting urging them to consider that human and social services they provide in the community are as important as street repairs, Councilmember Kyle Gamroth extended an apology to them for not being given any advance notice.

City Manager Carter Napier said during an interview on Wednesday that staff chose not to inform all the nonprofits because he didn’t want to prompt people to flood the City Council with their objections before staff had a chance to present their overall one-cent proposal to the council during the June 28 work session.

The City Council has yet to finalize a set of priorities for use of one-cent revenues over the next four years if the tax is renewed. Discussion of those priorities will continue during the Tuesday, July 12 work session.

NOTE: Oil City will provide further information and perspectives that arose in interviews with nonprofit organizations and city staff in regard to the one-cent grant program that occurred on Wednesday in a future article.