The 2021 budget approved in December by the Mancos Board of Trustees is largely similar to previous year’s budget because of a hesitancy to invest in improvement projects without knowing the full financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Budgets for the general, water and sewer funds were all balanced, said Town Administrator Heather Alvarez.
The 2021 property tax was set at 9.443 mills, as it has been for several years. The property tax revenue needed to balance the budget for general operating purposes is $102,619.
Water and sewer tap fees were increased marginally to adjust for inflation.
There were no changes to monthly utility rates as a result of COVID-19. The issue will be revisited in April, but it is likely that any rise in rates would only to be adjust for inflation.
Sales tax revenue from 2020 is estimated at $680,000, a considerable drop from 2019 at $877,365.
According to Alvarez, the town is largely focused on finishing ongoing projects that were halted or slowed because of the pandemic.
“We’re working to make sure that the promises we made in 2020 will be kept in 2021,” Alvarez told The Journal. “The board decided to be conservative since we didn’t know what effect COVID was going to have on the town.”
Several projects are currently in the works. The town will be spending $323,000 from its reserves on these projects, but officials are not concerned because the town’s fund balance for 2021 is estimated at $1.8 million.
According to Alvarez, one of the key projects for 2021 is the Parks Master Plan. At a cost of $40,000, the town intends to hire an outside consultant to help produce a guiding document for future expenditures and development of Mancos’ parks.
Other projects include the production of a Stormwater Master Plan ($60,000), the replacement of wooden picnic tables with metal ones ($10,000) and the replacement of the old water tank and running new fiber to the water plant($1,780,000).
Alvarez anticipates that work on the Main Street Bridge ($1,550,000) will finish up this year. The town has been partnering with the Colorado Department of Transportation on that project since 2015.
One new project is the Raw Water Transmission Line ($30,000). Design and engineering will begin this year on the multi-year project to replace the line that takes water from the Mancos River to the water plant to be treated.