By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Enid City Commission has restored annual discretionary funding to Leonardo’s Children’s Museum.
A draft budget presented Monday had eliminated the annual local programs appropriation for the museum, but when commissioners met again Tuesday, they voted to allocate the funds.
“I don’t know if I’m in favor of cutting them out completely,” said Ward 2 Commissioner Mike Stuber, before recommending it receive $25,000. The commission approved that amount.
Leonardo’s had requested $45,000. Executive Director Julie Baird said the money will go toward a membership with Oklahoma Museum Network, which brings two traveling exhibits each year to Leonardo’s. The rest is spent on providing scholarships for local children to attend programs, classes, summer camps and other activities at the museum.
“We’re not asking you to do it all,” Baird said. “We’re asking you to help us to help the people in the community.”
City staff took a new approach this year to the list of local programs funded by taxpayer dollars. Chief Financial Officer Jerald Gilbert said in the past, commissioners were presented every year with the same programs.
“The thinking was that we start removing these and let you guys start from ground zero and put in there what you’d like to fund,” he said.
The local programs budget represents $138,200 of a $44.8 million general fund budget spent on organizations like Leonardo’s, Main Street Enid and Booker T. Washington Community Center.
Operational funding for public television nonprofit PEGASYS previously was apportioned in the local programs budget, but the city now operates the stations through the public relations and marketing department.
Other programs receiving funding are Enid Metropolitan Area Human Services, the Fourth of July Celebration and RSVP.
Youth and Family Services, which received $7,000 last year, did not request funds, Gilbert said.
A public hearing on the budget will be May 20 during the commissioners’ regular meeting.