Town plans to dip into reserves

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— After two workshops, an unbalanced budget for 2001 is being proposed by the town of Hayden.
Currently, the town is proposing a $1.2 million budget with expected revenues to cover about $1.18 million, said Lisa Johnston, town clerk.
That means the town will be about $115,000 short. That amount would be covered by funds in the town's reserve of $1.5 million.
The reason for the unbalanced budget is $50,000 that has been budgeted for contingency, $30,000 for water and sewer costs, and the paving of Crandell Avenue.
"Every year there are always seems to be some special project," Johnston said of the town's inability to get a balanced budget in her tenure that started in 1995.
The $50,000 that has been put in the proposed budget is for emergencies, Johnston said.
"We will not necessarily spend the money, only if there is an emergency," she said. "The money is to be used for unforeseen situations that might arise next year."
If the contingency funds are not spent, the money will be available for future budgets.
The $30,000 expenditure is to offset sewer and water costs for residents, she said.
"Every year, we fund a portion of water and sewer costs to keep costs down for residents," she said.
The cost associated to paving Crandell Avenue also is a factor for the proposed unbalanced budget.
The town is proposing to pave the street for $187,000.
Although the town is proposing an unbalanced budget, taxes are not expected to increase for taxpayers.
With the town's value expected to be around $9.8 million, town officials are expecting the mill levy to stay the same as last year.
Last year residents paid a mill levy of $25.28. A mill levy increase is not expected, because the town's value is not expected to increase by 5.5 percent, Johnston said.
For the town to increase its mill levy, state statutes require the town's value to increase by 5.5 percent. Last year the town had a value of $9.4 million.
Another highlight in the town's proposed budget is to make improvements at the water treatment plant.
According to the budget, the town is proposing to spend about $80,000 to replace two blocks of water line. An additional $75,000 is proposed for pump replacement and repairs on Golden Meadows.
Also included in the proposed budget is $40,000 to replace a sewer line. About $8,000 is being requested to make electrical improvements at the water plant. That price also includes the cost to paint the facility.
Mosquito control is getting more attention in the proposed budget.
The town is proposing to spend $45,000 to control mosquitoes next year.
The expenditure includes the hiring of two employees to control mosquitoes and four aerial sprays.
Last year, the town had a $15,000 budget for mosquito abatement.
A patrol car for the police department is also included in the budget.
Half of the cost of the $40,000 car will be included in the 2001 budget. The other half was approved in this year's budget.
Also included in the proposed budget is a $10,000 expenditure to conduct a townwide traffic study.
The town wants to do the study to help determine problem areas and potential growth impacts.
The Town Board of Trustees compiled the budget after work sessions held Sept. 28 and Oct. 12 at the Town Hall.
The board has until Dec. 15 to approve the proposed budget.

To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail gsalazar@amigo.net

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