The Smithfield Senior Center will see major budget cuts this year along with other publicly funded organizations.
Beginning July 1 through June 2018, the amount of lunches provided for seniors at the Smithfield Senior Citizen Center will decline due to a recent budget cut by the city. The cut will decrease funds by $9,050.
The purpose of the cut was to make the budget more solid as taxes have not been raised for Smithfield citizens since 2011 and the city has added roughly 3,000 residents.
City Councilwoman Kris Monson said the city cannot provide the same quality of life if there are never small increases in taxes, and although the Senior Center’s budget did get impacted heavily, they were not the only ones to lose funding.
“We didn’t cut just for the Senior Citizen Center,” Monson said. “It’s Senior Citizen Center, it’s library, it’s youth council, it’s historical society, it’s everything that is nonessential had to be cut this year.”
As Smithfield sees cuts to their budget, the Hyrum Senior Citizen Center said they will continue to provide weekly lunches for their seniors and plan to have no cuts to their budget.
“We try to make everything from scratch so that our budget is tight and we can keep it tight and we can keep it good and not have to go out of the bounds with our budget,” said Vicky McCombs, director of the Hyrum Senior Citizen’s Center. “There is a $3 suggested donation for meals, which they are not obligated to do that, but 98 percent do. They will pay that $3 and that goes back into our budget.”
McCombs said by having many seniors help with the cost of food supplies, they are able to provide seniors with meat and fresh produce, as those two items are more costly than others but essential to people’s diets.
Compared to Hyrum City providing a meal a week, the Smithfield center will only be able to provide a meal once a month.