The Oak Creek Town Board felt comfortable passing the town’s 2012 budget at its last meeting of the year Thursday night.
After several months of work sessions, the final budget projects the town’s general fund operating at a deficit of $17,071.
“I’m OK with it; it’s hopefully a one-time hit,” Trustee Bernie Gagne said. “The general fund is in a very reasonable place, and as long as we work hard to bring in more revenues, it should work out just fine.”
Trustee Wendy Gustafson also is confident and hopes that some revenues, such as mineral leases, will come in higher than budgeted, as they did this year.
The town will end 2011 under budget, and Mayor Nikki Knoebel said that helped the board make the decision to offer end-of-year bonuses of $150 per town employee.
Still, the town did have to make sacrifices in the 2012 budget.
Board members decided to forgo hiring an additional police officer, which they had hoped would be funded by a sales tax ballot measure that failed.
The town plans to cut municipal court to once per month, and budgets for supplies and capital projects have been cut across the board.
A projected 31 percent decrease in property tax revenue and declining sales tax revenue prompted most of the cuts, but Knoebel said it was important to maintain services.
“I would like it not to be” a deficit, she said. “But we brought it down from where it was.
“Sandy (Jacobs, town treasurer) and Vivian (Johnson, deputy clerk) have been a big part of helping us get there. They’ve worked really hard on making cuts.”
With the projected deficit, the general fund balance is estimated to stand at $418,000 at the end of 2012.
“This is what the fund balance is for, for lean times,” Jacobs said.
In other action, the Oak Creek Town Board:
■ Approved, 5-0, a liquor license application for the Circle R Bar, a new restaurant and bar where the Black Mountain Tavern used to reside on Sharp Street.
■ Approved, 5-0, accounts payable for the month of November, which amounted to $107,918.28 in expenses.
■ Approved, 5-0, offering all town employees a bonus of $100 in cash and $50 in South Routt Bucks as a year-end reward.
■ Approved, 5-0, an insurance plan with Hix Insurance at the cost of just less than $36,000, declining coverage for terrorism and adding coverage for cyber crimes and for uninsured and underinsured motorists.
■ Approved, 5-0, supplemental budget appropriations for 2011 amounting to $39,000, $17,000 of which will be reimbursed from a LiveWell Northwest Colorado grant for the pump track. The rest relates to wages for the water storage tank project.
■ Approved, 5-0, a motion to delay possible electric rate increases until July 1.
■ Approved, 5-0, a resolution to increase water rates 4 percent effective Jan. 1
■ Approved, 5-0, a motion to delay possible sewer rate increases until July 1.
■ Approved, 5-0, resolutions to use mill levy funds from 2011 in the 2012 budget year and to appropriate money to the 2012 budget.
To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com