KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The KC Pet Project employs around 100 people across the Kansas City area to help care for the city's homeless animals.
As is the case for most nonprofits, money is tight this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. KC Pet Project relies on a whole lot of donations, grants and the $3 million it receives from Kansas City, Missouri.
"We have been very diligent during the time of COVID about looking at expenses, cutting costs where we can, so that way we can continue to provide the lifesaving care that we can for all the animals that are here," Tori Fugate, chief communications officer at the KC Pet Project, said.
If an ordinance introduced by KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas passes, KC Pet Project will be crunching the numbers again.
The city plans to raise the minimum wage for municipal employees to $15 per hour by 2022, but Lucas has proposed expanding that minimum wage hike to entities that receive a significant chunk of their funding from the city.
"I hope, no matter where you work at in connection to Kansas City, at least, you have the chance to make a good wage to take care of your family," Lucas said in announcing the proposal. "We call it humane wage for a reason."
The new ordinance introduced Thursday that would require "quasi-governmental" entities and nonprofits that receive at least 25% of their annual budget from KCMO's coffers to begin paying a $15 minimum hourly wage as well.
"For those who have a good job, those who feel valued at work, will keep working at that job, will have more people applying for those types of jobs," Lucas said. "That helps them avoid some of the other things that one may go into."
The KC Pet Project is one of more than a dozen agencies that would be affected. The other agencies impacted, according to the mayor's office would be:
- Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, including the Tax-Increment Financing Commission
- Kansas City Streetcar Authority
- Greater Kansas City Sports Commission
- American Jazz Museum
- River Market Community Development District
- KC Pet Project
- Blue Hills Neighborhood Association
- Northland Neighborhoods Inc.
- Northland Health Care Access
- Ivanhoe Neighborhood Association
- W.E.B DuBois Learning Center
- Palestine Senior Citizens Activity
- Westside Housing Organization
- Neighborhood Housing Services of Kansas City
- Good Samaritan Project
American Jazz Museum Executive Director Rashida Phillips expressed her support in a statement to 41 Action News, noting that "the majority of our staff are already above $15 per hour and we've planned for upward movement for all others based on what the ordinance requires."
KC Pet Project said it will finalize plans if and when the ordinance passes.
"We'll be discussing it as a team along with our board of directors, and just seeing what are the next steps," Fugate said.