At Thursday’s city council meeting, the city’s grim financial situation provided the backdrop for a number of agenda items, including the potential dissolution of the Center for Business Education & Entrepreneurship (CBEE), a push to maximize interlocal cooperation, and a discussion of setting up a franchise for supplying natural gas to the city.
Manuel Fausett, the co-project manager of the CBEE approached the council to give a status report on the organization: “I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news and I understand the financial situation that the city of Presidio is in,” Fausett said. “We may have to close our doors unless we find another way to sustain it.”
He added, “Unless the city helps out in some way economically, this is going to shut down and take a lot more resources to get it going again.”
The organization, which provides youth in the community with the resources to obtain real-life business experience, and offers paid internships to its participants, has been open since June 2014, and has relied on grant funding to exist. However, now that its grant is set to expire, the organization must find funding elsewhere.
Fausett added that Presidio ISD has been pivotal in mitigating some of the organization’s primary expenses—including office space, utilities and access to Wi-Fi. However, there are still some expenses that cannot be covered by the school district.
City administrator Marco Baeza said, “It looks like a good program but I’m not sure the city can come up with the funding.”
Councilmember Dimitri Garcia asked Fausett how much it would take to keep the organization up and running. Fausett said he estimated something in the ballpark of $24,000.
“We love working there and working with the kids,” Fausett said. “The kids gain life experience by working on projects. With our supervision, they gain a lot of experience.”
Baeza requested that Fausett provide a detailed budget proposal so that the city could assess where it could provide help.