During its Wednesday meeting, the Mancos Town Board adopted a 2018 budget that includes more money going out than coming in.
The $3.5 million budget includes decreased spending in several categories compared with 2017, but drastic increases in capital projects spending. The town has several major construction projects planned for next year, such as building a new Main Street bridge, which is estimated to cost about $1.4 million in 2018. Town administrator and treasurer Heather Alvarez said in a memo to the board that they will have to use some reserve funds to cover all the capital projects.
The final budget included few changes from the draft version presented at the board’s Nov. 1 workshop. Alvarez still predicted about $2.3 million in revenue for the general fund, a substantial increase from the estimated revenues in 2017. Most of the funding comes from sales and property taxes.
“The 2018 budget is more fully funded than the 2017 budget,” Alvarez wrote in her report to the board.
But revenue is down in other categories, such as the sewer fund, which is estimated to receive $310,986 in fees and other revenue, as opposed to $319,860 in 2017.
Projected expenses outweigh expected revenues in every category of the budget. Alvarez said that is mostly due to the town’s planned capital projects, some of which have been in the works for years. In addition to the Main Street bridge project, the town plans to spend $111,000 on street paving, $70,000 on a new vehicle for the marshal’s office and $17,000 on repairs to the Town Hall’s fiber room. In the water fund, the town will spend $50,000 on repairs to the water plant operating system and $65,000 on two new vehicles.
The town will reduce spending in a few categories to help balance the budget. Administration spending will go down in every category except the sewer fund, and so will spending on parks and water distribution. Other increases, such as in the legislative and planning and zoning budgets, are relatively minor.
“Without capital projects, we would be in the black,” Alvarez said. “But these things need to get done.”
The Main Street bridge was built in 1912, and the town
Some capital projects could get funding from grants and other outside sources. The town has applied for grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Department of Local Affairs for the bridge construction, for example. But Alvarez still expects to use at least $354,000 of reserve funds to cover expenses.
At the meeting, the town board also approved the 2018 mill levy, which remained at 9.443 mills per $1,000 of assessed property value, a rate which Alvarez said has not changed since the 1990s. It is estimated to raise $90,929 for the town in 2018.
The budget will go into effect starting Jan. 1.