Casper City Council agreed at a work session Tuesday to support 16 organizations that sponsor events that enhance the local economy, with one notable exception.

The council previously set aside $25,000 for the community promotions program and earlier had voted to approve $17,293.22 in either cash, in-kind services and/or facilities from the city.

Tuesday, the work session agenda included a spreadsheet that was revised, which frustrated some council members who indicated they wanted more time, but Mayor Charlie Powell wanted to the council to make its decisions in the meeting that lasted three-and-a-half hours.

The community promotions program is designed to enhance the Casper's economy by supporting events that attract people and their money from out of town.

However, council member Chris Walsh made a pitch for church’s program that doesn’t quite fit that goal.

Walsh successfully urged council to support the Imitate the Image’s Juneteenth Independence Day event in north Casper. The holiday commemorates the announcement in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 when slaves learned they were emancipated.

“That does not bring in people,” he said. “It’s contrary to things. But it does address a certain group of our citizens.”

Walsh said he knew he was speaking out of both sides of his mouth, because he opposed funding some other community promotions.

But he knows the church’s pastor, the Rev. William Pierce who helped him when he was police chief, and has been to Juneteenth events.

Council member Khrystyn Lutz said she initially voted against it because there was no event description and she didn’t know what Juneteenth was. She changed her mind.

Powell said the event does address some of the issues that Casper is perceived as an intolerant place, and improving that image helps the economy in the long run.

These are the organizations receiving cash, in-kind services and/or facilities for community promotions that total $25,000:

Casper Amateur Hockey Club -- $7,414.29 for season events.

Casper College — $428.57 for the 2019 T-Bird Trek.

Casper Soccer Club -- $601.50 for the Casper Fall Classic 2019.

Casper Soccer Club -- $292.50 for KickIt 3v3.

Casper Soccer Club -- $601.50 for the Spring Jamboree.

Casper Soccer Club -- $661.50 for the Wyoming State Cup.

Community Action Partnership —$1,500 for the Financial Information Fair.

Imitate the Image -- $685 for the Juneteenth celebration.

Natrona County Fair -- $2,421.07 for Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo.

Natrona County Fair -- $121.62 for CWFR banner downtown advertising.

Natrona County Fair -- $1,178.57 for downtown sidewalk chalk art event.

Natrona County Fair -- $1,602.15 for the downtown parade.

Serve Wyoming --    $785.71 for the 2019 9/11 Memorial mural project.

Special Olympics -- $3,120.31 for the 2019 fall tournament.

The Table and Elevate Wyoming -- $785.71 for the downtown mural revival project.

Windy City Wrestlers --  $2,500 for the Casper Showdown.



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