Bayfield town trustees voted unanimously this week to bring more services to Bayfield in 2020 by moving grant funds away from public transportation.
Bayfield allots up to $30,000 to nonprofits that offer programs and services in the community. Since 2015, Road Runner Transit has been the program’s largest beneficiary. However, the board cut Road Runner’s proposed grant to bring youth, music, disability and mental health services to the community.
“I support public transportation, but there’s a certain point where they need to have more sustainable income,” said Trustee Brenna Morlan. “That means that you don’t necessarily go to towns to get your income.”
Road Runner Transit is the only public transportation service with routes through Bayfield, and the organization is trying to sustain routes despite funding challenges. Trustees have urged Road Runner to find ways to increase its regular revenue and have asked for more Bayfield user data.
Since 2015, Road Runner has received about $9,400 on average from the town. In 2018, it received $12,000. This year, its grant amount will drop to $9,000, $6,000 less than it requested but still almost a third of the entire nonprofit grant budget. The funds will support the Bayfield-Durango bus route.
The Southern Colorado Community Action Agency uses the funds to meet funding match requirements for grants. When $1 in match funding is lost, $2 in final funding is lost, the nonprofit wrote in its application.
The grants, part of the 2020 budget, will be finalized only after a public comment opportunity Nov. 19 and the budget’s final approval.
The board shifted $3,450 to five organizations that were not budgeted to receive funding prior to the board meeting.
In fact, four of these groups have never been funded by the town’s grant program: Be FRANK, Community Treehouse, Pine River Garden Club and Women’s Resource Center. The fifth, Pine River Arts, received one grant in 2018.
The move will help bring new gardens and high school success programs to students, relief to working parents in need of child care and instruments to kids who want to play music.
During the meeting, Trustee David Black said Be Frank, a music education nonprofit, was one of the three things that people love about Bayfield, including the library and the school system.
The trustees awarded $700 to the nonprofit for scholarships.
Community Treehouse, a workspace with child care in Bayfield, will receive $1,000 to construct a playroom. The Women’s Resource Center will receive $500 for a high school success program for middle school students.
Pine River Arts, an arts and culture nonprofit in Bayfield, will receive $550 for event funding. The Pine River Garden Club will receive $700 to build a new garden at Bayfield Middle School.
“We can only do so much ... and we wanted to divvy it up more,” Morlan said.