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November 18, 2008
City to hold hearing on 2009 draft budget
TRINIDAD, Colorado (STPNS) -- Trinidad's city council is prepared to hold a public hearing on its draft budget for 2009 at its regular meeting Tuesday, in preparation for preparing the budget's final draft.
During the hearing, public input is allowed on the budget, and the final budget is usually approved by the city council in mid-to-late December.
The budget was categorized into several different funds: the General Fund, the Sewage Fund, the Power and Light Fund (PLF), the Gas Fund, the Water Fund and the Special Fund.
The general fund supplies money for the city's daily operations. That includes administrative functions along with the operation and maintenance of the parks, streets, public works and public safety services like the police. According to the 2009 draft budget, the 2009 estimated revenue is 2-percent higher than the 2007 estimation, with the expenditure level being slightly higher than 2007's.
According to the 2009 draft budget, revenues for the General Fund come from various taxes and licenses, fines, permits, charges for services, intergovernmental revenues like the severance tax on oil and gas field employees, payment in lieu of taxes and monies from the state for the operation of the Visitor Welcome Center.
A small amount of revenue is also generated by interest on invested income and miscellaneous revenues like the sale of decommissioned vehicles.
Total revenues proposed for the General Fund for 2009 were $7,907,614. That amount is $273,505 less than the $8,181,119 projected for the budget year of 2008, but $38,045 more than the actual total revenue of $7,869,569 for the General Fund in 2007.
Total proposed 2009 expenditures for the General Fund, as shown through categories like Public Safety, Public Works, Parks and Recreation and general city administration were $9,709,580. That is $32,300 more than the $9,741,880 projected amount from 2008 and $1,616,886 more than the 2007 actual amount of $8,092,694.
General government expenditures increased $83,221 from the projected 2008 amount of $2,408,710 to the proposed 2009 amount of $2,325,489. Public Safety expenditures are proposed to increase $474,737 from this year's costs; Public Works expenditures are expected to decrease almost $300,000 from the projected 2008 amount and the Parks and Recreation expenditures are expected to increase about $72,000.
Expenditures in the General Fund are proposed to exceed revenues for 2009 by $1,195,270. The projected amount of General Fund expenditures over General Fund revenues for 2008 is $954,065. The actual expenditure over revenue amount for 2007 had been $689,826.
The fund balance for the General Fund, both beginning and end, underwent major changes from the actual amounts of 2007 to the proposed amount for 2009, more than halving over the two-year term. The actual fund balance for 2007 had been $4,241,673 with an ending undesignated fund balance-representing money unspoken for in the budget-of $2,067,046. The proposed fund balance for 2009 is $2,092,338 with an ending undesignated fund balance of $142,532. From 2007 to 2009 is an undesignated fund balance difference of $1,924,514.
The projected revenues total for the Sewer Fund for 2009 were said by the city's budget summary to be anticipated as approximations of the amount estimated for 2008. However, total revenues for the Sewer Fund in the budget are listed as $2,064,208 for 2008 projections with 2009 proposed revenues listed as $1,411,400.
Sewer Fund revenues come from several different sources, though the vast majority is derived from the monthly charges that the city assesses on each commercial and residential sewer customer.
The loan repayment obligations that count as an expense for the Sewer Fund come from a $6,019,307 loan that city took out in 1999 to help fund a south side collection pipeline system and sewage treatment plant improvement. The loan was scheduled for repayment over 20 years, with 12 years remaining in the repayment schedule.
Total proposed revenues for the Sewer Fund in 2009 are $1,411,400. That is $652,808 less than the 2008-projected amount of $2,064,208.
Total proposed expenditures for the Sewer Fund in 2009 are $2,066,946. That is $861,504 less than the $2,928,450 estimated total expenditure from 2008.
Total proposed expenditures for the Sewer Fund in 2009 exceed total proposed revenues by $355,546.
The Gas Fund helps provide for the distribution of natural gas to commercial and residential customers in the city along with the Department of Corrections and some rural customers.
The proposed 2009 revenues flowing into the city's Gas Fund exceed the expenditures by $508,464. The revenues come from places like the monthly charges for service levied on reportedly all the city's customers, both commercial and residential.
Gas Fund revenues for 2009 are anticipated by the city to be $8,169,367, a $284,511 increase over the 2008-estimated amount of $7,525,368.
Gas Fund expenditures included gas purchases from wholesalers, operating expenses and bad debts from customer non-payments of energy bills.
The proposed total expenditures for 2009 for the Gas Fund are $7,621,025. That is $421,209 more than the projected 2008 total expenditure amount of $7,199,816.
Also affecting the Gas Fund's bottom line are transfers out of the fund. That includes a proposed $358,464 transfer to the General Fund and a proposed $150,000 transfer to the Sewer Fund. The total for transfers out of the fund is currently proposed to be $508,464.
The monies entering the Gas Fund in revenue format exceed monies exiting the Gas Fund in expenditure format by $39,878. That was a $186,698 decease from the projected$226,576 that Gas Fund revenues are to exceed expenditures in the 2008 projections.
The projected total PLF revenues for 2009 are set in the city draft budget at $6,962,474, a $309,461 increase over the 2008 estimated total revenue amount of $6,653,013.
The proposed total expenditure amount for PLF for 2009 was stated by the draft budget to be $6,878,686. That amount is $1,357,710 more than the $5,520,976 total estimated expenditure from 2008.
PLF revenues sources come from several sources. The main source is the operating revenue charged by the Power and Light Department on its customers. Other sources of revenue include the connection and extension of electrical services for new customers, interest paid on invested income and the Arkansas River Power Authority Fuel Reimbursement (ARPAFR). Trinidad's arrangement with the ARPAFR was designed to reimburse 100 percent of the city's fuel expenses associated with electrical power generation.
Also proposed for the 2009 budget is a transfer from the PLF to the General Fund of $358,788, bringing the PLF's excess of proposed expenditures in excess of proposed incoming revenues in the amount of $275,000.
The Water Fund provides money for Trinidad's water system for not only the city, but also for the delivery and distribution of water to the outlying areas surrounding Trinidad. Revenues for the Water Fund depend on water charges from residential and commercial customers both within the city and its outlying areas. Revenue also comes from the rural water associations that purchase taps to connect them to the city's water supply and for the general water supply flowing through the taps as well.
Total revenues for 2009 are proposed at $4,029,160, compared to the estimated 2008 revenues of $2,455,495 and the actual 2007 revenue amount of $7,696,375.
The proposed expenditure amount for the city's 2009 Water Fund is $4,509,531. That is more than a million dollar increase over the city's projected 2008 expenditure amount of $3,487,713.
The 2009 budget proposal foresees $819,815 in excess of Water Fund revenues to expenditures. That $501,847 less than the 2008 projected revenue excess of $501,847.
Another source of expenditure for the city's Water Fund was the $150,000 transferred to the Sewer Fund and the $189,444 transferred to the General Fund.
The Special Funds budget is an umbrella for a number of smaller funds utilized by the city. The smaller funds include the Lottery Fund, the Capital Projects Fund, the Economic Development Fund and the Tourism Fund. Each smaller fund had listed in the proposed budget its own revenue and expenditure expectation for the coming year,
The Lottery Fund is a revenue fund set up to account for the city's share of the state lottery program. The Lottery Fund had a proposed total revenue for 2009 of $92,500 the same as its 2008 projected amount. Its proposed 2009 expenditure amount is $129,500, a $47,000 increase over its $82,500 projected level for 2008.
The Tourism Fund comes from a 3-percent lodging tax on visitors to the city. Visitors to Trinidad have the 3-percent sales tax levied against them for occupying local commercial lodgings. Expenditures are overseen by a tourism board appointed by the city. Total proposed revenues for 2009 for the Tourism Fund come to $163,000, a slight increase over the projected 2008 amount of $150,250. Proposed 2009 expenditures were given by the draft budget as $212,750; the projected 2008 amount is $150,000.
Also a part of the Special Funds draft budget, the 2009 Capital Projects Fund comes from the city's one-cent sales tax. The 2009 revenue level from the sales tax is projected to be $2,005,372, with the 2008 revenue amount projected at $1,703,286.
The 2009 draft budget for the City of Trinidad is currently available for public review at the Carnegie Public Library across from City Hall on N. Animas Street.
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