The town of Mancos plans to hold a workshop tonight to discuss spending more than $1 million during the next fiscal year.
"The purpose of this workshop is to review personnel costs and trends, including salaries and benefits, and to review the proposed annual capital-improvements budget and five-year capital-improvement plan," said Town Administrator Andrea Phillips. "There will be additional opportunities in the future for the public to provide input on the proposed budget."
The 2014 general fund - which encompasses personnel, supplies, services and other operational costs - is currently projected to cost $1,050,572, an increase of 7 percent compared with 2013.
More than a third of the projected 2014 general fund is allocated for salaries and benefits, which includes 2 percent cost-of-living and 1 percent merit increases. More than two-thirds of the personnel budget, about $505,000, is allocated for salaries and wages. A quarter of the personnel budget funds health and retirements benefits for employees.
According to a survey provided by town officials, the town administrator, clerk and treasurer, parks and recreation coordinator and town marshal all make below-average when compared with other small towns in Colorado. The survey reveals the town's public works employees earn slightly more than average when compared with those towns.
Under capital improvements, 2014 preliminary budget items call for more than $11,000 to improve parks; $200,000 for street, water and sewer repairs; more than $30,000 for vehicle upgrades in the marshal's office; and $5,000 to improve the sound system inside the town's chamber room. Total capital improvements for 2014 are projected at $265,500.
Records show tax revenues in Mancos have steadily declined from a high of more than $754,000 in 2011 to a projected $717,000 this year. That tax base is expected to drop again in 2014 to slightly more than $667,000, a 7 percent decrease compared with projections for 2013.
"This is a conservative estimate of property and sales-tax revenues, and we hope it will be higher," Phillips said.
To balance the 2014 budget, officials project to see a near 50 percent increase in licenses and permits collected along with significant increases from both the parks and recreation department and internal transfers or reserves. The town is also applying for some grants.
Phillips said proposed expenditures do not exceed fund balance and reserves, so the town will have a balanced budget.
Additional budget workshops are planned, and a public hearing on the budget has been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 11.