VNA denied funds

Council won't finance Haven acquisition

The Craig City Council will offer the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association a letter supporting its attempt to acquire The Haven, but no money will accompany it.

Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to send a letter of support, something a lot less than the $50,000 VNA officials originally requested.

"We'll take less," VNA Director Sue Birch said. "Any amount certainly goes a long way. We take small contributions from governments and leverage them against enormous foundation gifts."

Birch attended the Dec. 14 Craig City Council meeting with a plea for support.

Even then, the prognosis wasn't good.

Council members balked at the idea, citing flat sales-tax revenue and budget cuts as the reasons.

They directed Birch to the Human Resources Council, an agency funded jointly by the city and county for the purpose of distributing the portion of funds each sets aside for community requests.

"That's usually where we concentrate our contribution efforts so we don't have to contribute in other ways," Councilor Bill Johnston said.

The request came not quite two months after the council approved its 2005 budget, another problem council members had.

"Right now, I can't justify spending any more," Councilor Don Jones said. "Right now, I'm not sure we can cover what we budgeted in 2005. I don't know how we can do anything. We're strapped for what we have right now."

He suggested Birch approach the council again during its 2006 budget deliberations, which begin in October.

"I support this concept, but for us to commit money we don't have or we don't know we have -- as a city, we don't operate that way," Councilor Kent Nielson said.

Councilor Tom Gilchrist was the only councilor who supported funding, "but not much," he said.

Jones made the motion to send a letter only. The motion passed unanimously.

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