City’s donation helps budget-crunched program

Hugh Johnson
Posted

Wheat Ridge City Council will donate $5,055 to the Jefferson Center for Mental Health’s 55th Anniversary Emerald Celebration fundraising event.

Council unanimously voted at its Feb. 11 meeting to sponsor a 10-person table at the April 25 JCMH event.

Since the council’s annual budget for table sponsorships is only $3,000, the plan is to supplement the donation with funds from the $1,500 each council member is allotted for personal outreach.

The resolution didn’t pass without some debate, however. District IV Councilwoman Tracy Langworthy said donating two-thirds of council’s budget in the second month of the year could prove unwise.

“We are constantly being asked throughout the year to do table sponsorships,” she said. “There’s a lot of good programs out there, as well as a lot of people who ask for assistance and I want to make sure we divide that $3,000 as evenly as possible.”

Councilman Joseph DeMott, District IV, and Mayor Jerry DiTullio reminded council that the JCMH is in Wheat Ridge and deserves council’s support.

“The Jefferson Center has been in Wheat Ridge for 55 years,” DeMott said at the Feb. 4 study session. “They continually support the businesses around us. What they do is immeasurable.”

The JCMH’s budget was cut by $168,000 at the beginning of the year. Last year, the JCMH helped 19,000 individuals, the same number the Pepsi Center holds at capacity.