$145,000 Cut From Fort Smith Non-Profit Organizations

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) - In a 4-3 vote the board approved a motion to cut 145-thousand dollars between 28 non-profit organizations.

At Tuesday night’s (July 21) board meeting, city directors decided to cut funding for non-profits, but held off on cutting some city services.

The cuts will be to the 2016 funding of the non-profit organizations.

That includes The Boys and Girls Club, The Crisis Intervention Center and The Fort Smith Regional Art Museum.

The board also looked at a motion that would cut funding from city services like finance and transit.

Ken Savage, the transit director, said budget cuts could mean eliminating the bus route to The Links Apartments and Parrot Island Water Park, but the board tabled their decision for another 30 days.

“My main concern is I want to make sure that the board is aware of the potential impacts that could occur to the citizens, particularly that use the transit system daily if they move forward with the cuts,” Savage said.

He said when he left the meeting he felt relieved.

'I`m really pleased that the board has decided to take a step back, look at these, evaluate each of these services independently and determine which cuts should be made, which ones make the most sense and try to minimize the impacts to the public,” Savage said.

Mayor Sandy Sanders said the board wants to make sure they're doing the right thing without negative impact.

“We need to not rush into some things,” Mayor Sanders said. “There are a lot of things on the table, and there are some things that we need a little bit more information about the impact on certain departments.”

Mayor Sanders says a lot could change in the next 30 days.

“There are some departments that could significantly change,” Sanders said. “I don`t want to presume on behalf of the board, but probably something in the finance as far as a new system that the board has requested. The transit department, we`ll probably take a look at.”

After the board reviews and makes changes to the proposed cuts they will present them again after the 30 days.

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