The Mancos Town Board unanimously passed a $3 million 2015 final budget at its Dec. 10 meeting with little fanfare, and residents can expect more capital projects in the next year.
The operating budget for 2015, which accounts for yearly departmental and administrative expenses, is $1.7 million, and the capital budget for 2015, which accounts for long-term expenses like public works projects, is $1.3 million.
Of that, the town plans to allocate roughly $1.18 million for capital improvement projects, many of which aim to improve water infrastructure.
Before the board passed the budget, trustee Queenie Barz commented that the earmarked projects are necessary expenses that will only grow in cost if the town doesn't foot the bill this year.
"We're spending a lot of money, but we're taking care of items that haven't been taken care of in many years," said Barz. "We've got to do these things now or we'll really be spending money (in the future)."
According to the budget, the town plans to spend roughly 37 percent more on water capital improvement projects than it did in 2014.
All told, capital projects that budgeted for 2015 include an $8,000 flooring replacement project for the Community Center; road repairs and improvements (i.e., paving) for $10,000; street equipment for $10,000; a sidewalk improvement project for $5,000; and a pedestrian crossing for $93,459, which includes a $74,767 reimbursement from the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Also on the books for 2015 is a water line replacement project and leak-detection study for $30,000; hydrant replacement for $10,000; and water meter upgrade and water pit rebuilds for $40,000.
The largest project on the books for 2015 is a new $1.05 million 430,000-gallon water storage tank and water piping, which will be paid in part with a $491,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and a $455,000 grant from the Energy and Mineral Assistance Fund, with the remainder footed by the town.
Estimated revenues in 2015 are $1.09 million, nearly 75 percent of which are generated from sales, property and other forms of taxes.
Proposed annual expenditures coming out of the general fund are set to be $93,502 more than anticipated annual revenues, said Town Administrator Andrea Phillips. However, the general fund is healthy and can support this difference, if required, throughout 2015, she said.
According to the budget, the town projects to start 2015 off with $4.16 million fund balance and end the fiscal year with a $3.8 million fund balance.
Town government also will implement quarterly finance updates in 2015 to better track spending and ensure that the fund balance is protected.
Town board members on Wednesday also approved an increase in water and sewer tap fees. For 2015, tap fees will go up to $5,155 - up from $5,015 last year. Board members unanimously approved water fee increases of $2.50 a month per year for the years 2015-2018. The base gallons were also to be reduced from 8,000 to 7,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2015.