Council waits to take stance on Horizons

Christina M. Currie

Horizons Specialized Services board member Don Roth attended Tuesday night’s Craig City Council meeting asking for council support on the group’s proposed mill levy.

Voters will decide in November whether to appropriate a mill to Horizons, which would net the organization $390,000 a year.

Roth didn’t get the endorsement he was looking for, but council members didn’t tell him “no” outright.

They’ll make a final decision after they’ve read information about Horizons provided by Roth and when they know they won’t be faced with a similar decision in the near future.

Craig Mayor Don Jones is concerned that if the Craig City Council approves a resolution supporting a mill levy, it would set a precedent forcing the city to take a stance on all future tax questions.

“There are all kinds of good programs out there,” he said. “God only knows you need a mill levy. I’m in favor of the program, but if we endorse this, what kind of precedent do we set? What do we tell other groups asking for the same support.”

It is the final decision of the Moffat County commissioners whether to allow the question on the ballot. Commissioners have said they’ll approve the question, but the wording is still an issue.

Commissioner Saed Tayyara said Tuesday night they were considering language that asks voters for an increase and forbids Horizons from ever requesting supplemental funding from the Human Resource Council.

HRC is funded jointly by the city and the county and provides grants to area nonprofit agencies based on the decisions of a seven-member board.

The HRC gave Horizons $16,500 this year.

Tayyara said allowing Hori-zons to have a mill levy and potential funding from the HRC was “double dipping” tax dollars.

Council members didn’t agree.

“I’m not sure we want to encumber the HRC by restricting the way they spend their dollars,” Councilor Tom Gilchrist said. “We empower them to make those decisions.”

Because the HRC is jointly funded, the county cannot make the decision to limit Horizon’s ability to request funds without buy in from the city council.

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