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Cedaredge policy tightens rules for contributions

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Citizen groups and organizations wanting support from Cedaredge for their activities and projects may now have to prove their mettle and should expect to pay to play with dollars from the town.

A new town policy has been prompted by an article from the Colorado Municipal League that warns cities and towns against funding organizations or projects that "develop an unhealthy dependence upon the financial assistance of a municipality," or that "may falter or even cease to exist" without tax dollar support.

The new policy of tightening up on contributions to local groups and projects was adopted on Sept. 17, two weeks after trustees decided to ask voters for a tax increase to fund "recreation" and "healthy living lifestyles."

The policy is based on the principle that, "Residents should not be taxed only to have the town tax dollars contributed to programs or projects that individual residents could support on their own."

The almost 600-word-long policy document doesn't name any specific program or activity that will be denied tax dollar support because people who use it should be paying for it themselves.

Citizen groups hoping for contributions of money or other support from the town for their projects or activities and that are subject of the new rules may refer to Resolution 15-2015 which also states in part, "Existing agreements, articulated as contributions, will be honored; however, at the time of agreement renewal, organizations shall define the manner in which they can reduce their operating burden, raise additional operating funds, justify the critical need for town residents and/or modify operations to benefit the cost of town operations." Also, "Unless established by resolution or ordinance, new contribution requests will not be considered formally by the town."

The town's new policy on funding for projects and activities came out of a work session discussion last summer initiated by Mayor Pat Means. At the time, trustees were caught in a net of competing claims on town resources by players of pickleball and tennis ­-- two of the sports/recreation programs the town currently provides funding and/or support for.

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