Basalt anticipates dipping into reserves for budget | AspenTimes.com

Basalt anticipates dipping into reserves for budget

BASALT – Basalt plans to dip into its general-fund reserves for about $439,000 next year to cover a budget of $5.24 million, according to preliminary numbers crunched by the staff and Town Council.

One of the biggest commitments is $500,000 to help build replacement housing when the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park is redeveloped. The nonprofit and for-profit developers of a proposed project on that property also will help provide housing to offset the 38 mobile homes on the property. Denver Archdiocesan Housing is an additional player in a project being eyed at Willits Town Center.

The preliminary budget also includes a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment for 32 employees on the payroll for an expense of $65,265. New Town Manager Mike Scanlon will receive a $24,000 housing allowance in 2013.

Basalt also will help with the resurfacing of the running track at Basalt High School. The $40,000 expenditure is part of an agreement with the Roaring Fork School District.

The town initially planned to spend $100,000 on vehicle replacement, but that was trimmed to $25,000. The council will discuss a possible policy that requires annual expenditures in future years of an amount to be determined so that the government isn’t stuck with several worn-out vehicles.

Big-ticket items eliminated or reduced from the budget included a contribution to the Basalt Chamber of Commerce. The chamber sought $170,000 but will receive only $10,000. The chamber scores an additional $13,000 or so annually from a town lodging tax.

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Other cuts included the following:

• Triangle Park refurbishing for $10,000 was eliminated.

• Contract labor to weed gardens for 14 days and an increase for seasonal help was eliminated to save $19,000. (Volunteer weed days are envisioned.)

• $6,000 in overtime for the Police Department is on the chopping block, but no decision was made.

Even with the cuts, the town will have to dip into reserves to cover the proposed budget because total unrestricted-fund revenues are anticipated at $4.8 million.

The budget will be finalized later this month. In addition to the $5.24 million unrestricted-funds budget, the town will spend $1,734,206 in restricted funds for a total general-fund budget of $6,969,590.

scondon@aspentimes.com

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