Cindy Jones, finance officer, prepared three budgets for the mayor and trustees to review. The first has figures without a town manager.
The second scenario has a town manager, town clerk and finance officer in administration. The third scenario has a town manager, town clerk, deputy clerk and finance officer.
The personnel committee recommended a reduction in the police chief's salary. The budget is showing a reduction by $26,602.37. The police chief was paid $98,611.97 in 2013, and under this proposal would make $72,009.60 in 2014.
The staff would do without a cost of living increase in 2014. This is due to a decrease in tax revenue.
The parks contract would not be continued for 2014. Public Works staff would take over those duties. The contract in 2013 was for $36,000. The savings forecast for 2014 would be about $27,416. Jones' notes show that the park salaries for public works staff and for the director would be two percent. Twenty-five percent would be allocated for a new part-time person.
The Workman's Compensation premium will have a 23 percent increase in 2014.
The 2014 budget transmittal letter was written by Cindy Jones, finance officer, Barbara Peterson, town clerk, Scott Leon, chief of police and Travis Loberg, public works director.
They noted that the town has had "decreased revenue from property tax, federal mineral lease and severance tax, sales tax and other sources" since 2009.
In addition to those losses was the sizeable theft by the former finance officer.
But the staff concludes, "Through a variety of policy decisions and management plans, the Town of Paonia has weathered the loss and the recession well, and has been able to successfully maintain the level of services provided to the Community while remaining fiscally sound."
Concerning the two million-gallon water project, the Town of Paonia has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Department of Local Affairs, $847,920 in principal forgiveness from the Water Power Authority and a $35,000 grant from the Gunnison Basin Round Table. The town has received approval for a Drinking Water Revolving Fund loan for the remaining balance for the $5.4 million water project.
The staff proposes "a very aggressive capital improvement budget" with over $155,000 in new projects.
Rates for wastewater treatment and trash pickup remain flat. Water rates were last increased in 2012, and due to the requirements for the loan will possibly be raised again in July 2014.
Budget notes on the proposed 2014 General Fund show that sales tax revenue declined one percent from 2012 to 2013, but in 2014 are expected to be equal to the revenues in 2011. The Highway User Tax is expected to rise by 11 percent in 2014. In 2013, severance tax and mineral leasing decreased by 13 percent. Those revenues are expected to remain flat for 2014 at $88,300.
Legal expenses are being budgeted downward in 2014 at $16,952. The three-year average for legal fees has been $23,000.
As proposed, there will be "no funding available" for the Mountain Harvest Festival ($1,000 in 2013), human resource consulting ($3,000), Paonia Chamber of Commerce ($500), KVNF ($100), Center for Mental Health ($250), HopeWest Hospice ($500), North Fork Horse Patrol ($400), Dolphin House ($200), North Fork Heart and Soul ($2,000), Slow Food Western Slope ($500) and North Fork Mosquito Abatement ($500).
Proposed cuts to donations include Paonia High School from $500 in 2013 to $300 in 2014 and Paonia Senior Citizens from $3,300 to $1,700. All Points Transit was increased slightly from $2,980 to $3,000, Medical Systems from $250 to $340 and the Housing Authority will remain at the same level of $750.
The proposed budget states that "revenues for all funds for 2014 are budgeted at $7.4 million. Expenditures are budgeted at $7.9 million."
The mayor, trustees and staff will continue to work on the budget through November and must have their final budget approved in December.blog comments powered by Disqus