Breckenridge Town Council considers asking voters for help funding child care
BRECKENRIDGE — At Breckenridge Town Council’s Tuesday special meeting, council was presented with the child care fund projection and the fund summary. The projection showed that the current funding would dry up by 2024 and will require a new source of funding by then.
The fund provides child care tuition assistance to working families in Breckenridge and uses a “needs based” process for granting assistance. Council member Dick Carleton said that this program is very important for working and low-income families in Breckenridge.
“I don’t want to wait until 2023 or 2024,” Carleton said. “I think we have to find some sustainable funding for this program as soon as possible.”
Carleton questioned if it would generate revenue to tax businesses for child care, while town manager Rick Holman asked if Breckenridge could partner with the county to expand the program countywide.
“That may be an opportunity for more success,” Holman said.
Council member Wendy Wolfe pointed out that the ski areas are the biggest user of Breckenridge’s child care facility and asked if the town could get compensation for ski areas, remarking that “the town pulls up the slack” when the areas fall short of being able to provide child care for their employees.
Council member Gary Gallagher then asked fellow council members why they weren’t considering putting the issue on the ballot.
“I think there’s a reluctance to go to the voters,” Gallagher said. “Last time it didn’t go down by that many votes. This is a program that’s going to go on in perpetuity … it’s a lot of money and I’d like us to think about if that’s something that’s possible or is it basically DOA. I think it’s the only way to get a steady stream for an important issue.”
Mayor Eric Mamula said that he believes the biggest mistake council made last time that the question for funding of child care was on the ballot was that no one really understood the issue. Mamula said they should have interacted with people more by going out to collect signatures.
Holman said that the issue would be put into a future town work session and council members could discuss putting a question about child care funding on the ballot.
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