Wheels rolling on '07 budget

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The 2007 Routt County budget is nearing completion.

Routt County commissioners will host two meetings in the next week to present a version of the budget that is "pretty close to final," Routt County Finance Director Dan Strnad said Monday.

The first of the meetings is at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Routt County Courthouse Annex, where Strnad and commissioners will present the budget to members of the local media, in a meeting that is open to the public but will not include public comment. Members of the public are invited to comment on the nearly finalized budget at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 in the courthouse annex.

Members of the public can view a copy of the proposed 2007 budget in the county accounting offices on the first floor of the courthouse annex on Sixth Street in downtown Steamboat Springs.

A draft budget presented last month projected $52.7 million in total 2007 revenues and $65 million in total 2007 expenditures. During the past several weeks, commissioners and Strnad have met with officials in county departments such as road and bridge, the Routt County Sheriff's Office, human services and environmental health to discuss financial needs in the coming year, and they try to prioritize future spending.

"We went down to about $63 million in expenditures, and $52 million in revenues," Strnad said of the current budget.

Strnad said a large reason for the drop is the lack of a new car rental facility at Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden, due to ongoing construction of the new terminal that is scheduled for completion in late January.

In 2006, Routt County will receive a projected $64 million in revenues while spending a projected $73.5 million.

The YVRA terminal, the new justice center and reconstruction of Routt County Road 27, which runs from Oak Creek to U.S. Highway 40 east of Hayden, dominate the county budget and are a large part of the county's record-setting "capital" spending for construction.

Completion of the $13.4 million justice center is scheduled for September 2007.

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