The Cedaredge town trustees are on track to give final approval to the 2014 budget on Thursday, Dec. 12.
The document proposes $3.69 million in planned spending against $3.63 in expected revenues.
The December trustees meeting will take place on the second Thursday rather than the customary third Thursday this month.
The proposed budget was officially presented to the town board on Nov. 25. Mayor pro tem Gene Welch noted that the budget document does not mean that the spending is "cut in stone. The budget is the town's anticipated expenditures based on its anticipated revenues."
Welch said that the town's department heads have almost always been able to keep their spending below budget projections. While unanticipated expenses occur, "We've always been able to adapt the budget and make it work."
During the budget presentation on Nov. 25, Town Administrator Katie Sickles noted that town employees haven't had a cost of living increase "for a number of years." The 2014 budget document provides for selected merit pay increases of 3 percent, she said.
The town faces a 10 percent increase in health insurance premiums, Sickles said
Sales tax collections have been flat compared with 2012, and property tax receipts will show a "zero percent increase," Sickles said.
Golf course pro Larry Murphy told the trustees, "We want to be the affordable Western Slope golf course and brand ourselves as a nice place to come and play."
Murphy told the DCI that Cedaredge Golf Course logged 2013 revenues about the same as the previous year. A course in Grand Junction had a 10 percent decline, he told trustees.
The number of rounds played was down in 2013. Greens fee revenue was down about 10 percent, but annual pass revenues were up by 10 percent, Murphy said.
The town's golf course business enterprise encountered notable turmoil in 2013. Issues which arose included the following:
• Controversy over locating a sewer treatment plant on the back nine;
• A dispute with the cemetery over water sharing;
• An irrigation ditch breach needing emergency repair;
• Expensive problems with the irrigation sprinkler system;
• Drought fears relieved only by timely monsoon rains;
• A town government tiff with golf course residents over "misuse" of the golf course property causing damage there;
•And, failure of the clubhouse restaurant kept Cedaredge golf club issues on the trustees plate all year long.
Some rates and fees for golfers have been increased for 2014.
Public works director Dave Smith noted a previous cash loan from the sewer fund to the golf course that was repaid to sewer rate payers in the form of water shares. Those water shares are being sold back to ratepayers in the water fund. The effect of the transactions will be to put new ratepayer cash into the sewer fund to replace the cash that went to the golf course. The cash infusion into the sewer fund is to help pay for building a new sewer treatment plant.
The town will apply for a $200,000 grant for engineering and design for a new sewer plant. Officials hope the design can be completed by the end of 2014. Also, there will be $10,000 budgeted for design work on the jay Avenue bridge.
Smith said he wants to find a reliable way to begin "metering outside of town water usage."
Trustee Nancy Sturgill complimented the town staff on preparing the 50-plus page budget document.
Trustee Larry Smith said, "Each year (the budget document) gets better. It was a problem in the past and now it is easier to understand."blog comments powered by Disqus