SOUTH SALT LAKE — The City Council is slated to give $15,000 from city coffers to the South Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce during a budget adjustment Wednesday night.

The money is in addition to the $22,500 given to the chamber during the regular budget process in July. But the total $37,500 is less than the $50,000 the chamber received in the 2008 budget cycle.

Over the summer, the City Council asked that the chamber be given $45,000, but Mayor Bob Gray vetoed the budget to prevent that. Now, the extra $15,000 comes at his request.

The additional funds are slated to be removed from the City Council "professional services" budget. The council discussed the issue Dec. 2.

"We've been able to save in some areas so we're kind of reallocating some of the money," Gray said.

The money will go to fund chamber operating expenses such as part-time salaries, he said.

The chamber also gets about $9,400 in free rent from the city each year, according to city officials. The business group uses 650 square feet of office space in City Hall at 220 E. Morris Ave.

Chamber chief executive Stacey Liddiard did not return calls to her office about the extra funding, but Gray said using taxpayer money on the chamber is justified because the organization supports local economic development.

"We feel like we should support them to some degree because they're supporting the community, and that's what these funds are for," the outgoing mayor said.

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