Carbondale seeks 3 percent raise for town employees |

Carbondale seeks 3 percent raise for town employees

John Colson
Post Independent
Aspen, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE – A 3 percent salary hike across the board for town employees is part of the proposed 2013 municipal budget now before the town’s Board of Trustees.

The balanced budget, which was presented to the trustees in its final draft form on Tuesday, also proposes to add 2 percent in town contributions toward staff retirement accounts.

Beyond that, the general fund budget calls for expenses to drop very slightly in 2013 compared to expenses in 2012. The general fund pays for most of the town’s daily operations.

Overall, the budget anticipates a drop in revenues of roughly 3.5 percent in 2013, compared to 2012, according to a memo to the trustees from town staff.

That drop, according to the memo, is due to anticipated decreases in funds from state agencies, and uncertainty about revenues generated by the town’s road and bridge mill levy.

At the same time, sales tax revenues are expected to increase very slightly in 2013; property taxes are anticipated to remain flat or even drop slightly.

According to the documents, the town expects to collect $5.59 million in total general fund revenues and transfers from other funds before the end of 2012.

In 2013, overall revenues are projected at $5.39 million, a drop of 3 percent.

The town plans to spend $5.39 million in 2013, just under its anticipated revenues.

That would leave more than $5.7 million in reserves at the end of 2013, as a kind of rainy-day fiscal backup, which would be about the same amount as the town expects to have at the end of 2012.

The single largest portion of the general fund is $1.4 million budget for the police department, which is approximately the same level of funding the department received in 2012.

That amount includes about $910,000 in wages and overtime for the 17-member police department, including the chief and administrative staff.

Among the highlighted proposed expenses for the coming year, according to a memo from Finance Director Nancy Barnett to the trustees, will be the purchase of 10 to 12 new computers for various departments.

Town manager Jay Harrington said the replacement is part of the town’s regular schedule of equipment updates, noting that most of the computers are six to nine years old.

The town also would like to hire a contractor for meetings management. Harrington said the position is budgeted for $25,000, and is needed to keep better track of the numerous advisory boards that report to the trustees.

Also on tap for the coming year is the planned purchase of a new voicemail system for Town Hall and other town facilities, and reservations software and an irrigation system for the Gateway Park RV campground at the corner of Highways 82 and 133.

The budget also calls for spending about $1.5 million for capital construction, including building a trail at the North Face property, chip and seal work around town, and replacement of vehicles.

Some hoped-for spending will remain unfunded for now.

These include the purchase of a new snowblower and dump truck for cleaning the streets and a request from Garfield Clean Energy for $314,000 to pay for energy efficiency improvements to town properties.

The 2013 budget documents are available on the town’s website,

The trustees’ are expected to adopt the final budget at a meeting on Dec. 11.

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