Oak Creek Town Board has full slate for December meeting
December 9, 2013
Steamboat Springs — Oak Creek has a packed agenda for Thursday's Town Board meeting.
At 6 p.m., the board will consider a supplemental budget for 2013, three items related to the town's 2014 budget, an update in the salary schedule, adoption of a capital improvements plan and a snow removal plan, among other items.
Many of the items on the agenda represent the culmination of months of ongoing work, and the town's budget for 2014 must be adopted before Dec. 15 to comply with state requirements, according to a memo from Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen.
Oak Creek's budget for 2014 scales back on the management fees charged to utilities that were instituted in the 2013 budget. In 2013, the management fees made up 44.6 percent of general fund revenue or $176,445. That has dropped to 13.4 percent of general fund revenue or $73,525 for 2014.
Those management fees were met with opposition by Oak Creek property owners and residents, but the 2014 budget has not elicited the same level of public feedback.
Last year was a catch-up year for the town's budget, Page-Allen said.
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The town has seen successive property tax revenue drops of about 30 percent for the past and current assessment cycles. Sales and use taxes account for the largest share of the town's general fund revenues.
This year, Page-Allen said, is a keep-up year.
The 2014 budget summary states that management fees helped to stabilize the town's general fund, allowing for the fees to be decreased in 2014.
The direction from the Town Board, Page-Allen said, was to look to scale back management fees first when possible.
The overall budget for Oak Creek projects a 12 percent decrease in expenditures, which total $2,918,945, compared to 2013 and a 16.8 percent decrease in budgeted revenues, which are $2,581,513.
Grants will provide just less than 25 percent of general fund revenues, which will be used mostly for parks and recreation projects, according to the budget summary.
Some of the capital needs of ongoing water projects will be addressed in 2014, according to the summary, while the remainder of the funding still needs to be found for items such as distribution system upgrades and metering.
The budget summary states that there are signs that the local economy recovering, but the current assessment period will keep property tax revenue depressed through 2015.