Hayden’s 2010 budget light on capital | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden’s 2010 budget light on capital

Town focuses on maintenance, operations

Jack Weinstein

The proposed 2010 town of Hayden budget will provide “maintenance and operations,” Town Manager Russ Martin told council members Thursday night.

“You’re not going to get a lot of meat here in terms of capital improvements,” he said.

Thursday was the first of two Town Council budget workshops. It addressed the portions of the budget dedicated to the Streets, Parks and Recreation, and Water and Sewer departments.

The proposed budget is considerably lighter than in previous years. In the 2010 general fund, the town is projecting to generate about $2.18 million in revenue while spending $2.04 million, leaving a balance of more than $131,000.

However, Martin said it was important to note that $117,500 of that reserve already was dedicated to the completion of Poplar Street and the contract with Steamboat Springs for the construction of ball fields. That would leave a reserve of more than $14,000.

The general fund in 2009 was budgeted at about $3.5 million. This year’s is less with the new police station and parks building coming off the books.

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The proposed 2010 budget’s enterprise fund – the town’s utilities – reflects a revenue total of nearly $926,000 and expenditures of more than $923,000.

The furlough program that began in June has been discontinued in the proposed budget, with employees going back to full time. However, Parks and Recreation Director Kathy Hockett, whose position was cut to half time, would remain on that schedule. She would get 150 hours of flex time to help with events.

The proposed 2010 budget for the Streets Department is slightly smaller than this year’s. Next year’s parks budget is considerably smaller than in 2009 because of the completion of Dry Creek Park’s ball fields and building projects. The recreation budget in 2010 is slightly smaller.

Hayden is working with other organizations to host some events sponsored in the past by the town, such as Bicycle Safety Day, the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Easter Egg Hunt, the Senior Fall Foliage Tour, the Sledding Party and the Winter Senior Social. The Haven has taken on the foliage tour and social, as its budget allows. The Hayden Valley Elementary School physical education class has been asked to plan Bicycle Safety Day. And the Hayden Chamber of Commerce has been asked to take over the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The water and sewer enterprise funds are projected to be slightly smaller in 2010 than 2009 but are expected to generate enough revenue to cover expenditures. That’s due in part to the town’s recent increase of water rates and tap fees, which will generate additional revenue for the town, and a $45,000 contribution from the general fund to make up an annual $75,000 to $80,000 gap.

The next budget workshop, which will address the budgets of the remaining town departments, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Martin will prepare an updated proposed budget after that meeting if council members suggest any tweaks. He said a final budget would be drafted in mid-November, which would be followed by the Town Council’s first reading of it.

Should voters approve the 3.5 percent car rental and lodging tax increases in the Nov. 3 election, Martin said funding generated from the tax – an estimated $143,500 – would be dedicated to reserves or capital expenditures as directed by the Town Council.