The Puyallup City Council is on course to increase the amount of money the city allocates to community social service groups.
A majority of the seven members indicated during a budget workshop Tuesday that they support setting the pot at $110,550 – about
$10,000 $5,500 more than this year – with the money split among groups including Puyallup Food Bank and St. Francis House.
“I didn’t want to see the commitment (to these groups) go away. It’s the wrong time. The need is now,” Councilman John Palmer said after the session, which lasted four hours and also included discussion of public works and parks spending.
Councilman John Hopkins said he isn’t opposed to raising the funding above the $55,000 included in the preliminary 2013 city budget. But, he said, he’s not prepared to commit to the bump yet because there still are other unsettled budget areas. The council is in the midst of formulating a city budget for next year; members aren’t expected to consider adoption until sometime in November or December.
The city traditionally allocates some money in its general fund to community social service groups. Between 2009 and 2011, the annual amount averaged about $53,200.
But in formulating the budget for this year, the council added another $50,000 to provide assistance for homeless families, bringing the total to $105,000. The increase came after the Puyallup Homeless Coalition, a network of local advocates for the homeless, lobbied for more social services funding.
The city has received a total of $184,060 in funding requests from community social service groups for 2013. The $110,550 the council seemed to OK Tuesday includes money for programs providing homeless prevention, emergency housing, support for domestic violence survivors and assistance paying for food, rent and utilities.
The city’s total preliminary 2013 budget is about $94 million, including a $35.5 million general operating fund. The public will have the chance to weigh in on the city spending plan for next year before the council takes any final action.