Granby 2016 budget approved by Board of Trustees
With snow falling in the high country and the year drawing to a close municipalities throughout the state are working to complete their budgeting processes for the coming year.
The Granby Board of Trustees approved the budget for the Town at their last meeting, on Nov. 10, 2015. The proposed budget for 2016, $15,451,978 for all Town funds including three grant projects, is significantly larger than the 2015 budget of $9,473,321. The increase this year is driven by a number of factors but the majority of the expanded budget comes from a proposed water treatment plant that will cost approximately $6 million that will be installed in the South Service Area (SSA) south of the Fraser River.
Along with providing water for the South Service Area the water treatment facility will provide water to the SilverCreek Water and Sanitation District. Both the Town of Granby and SilverCreek Water and Sanitation District will cover a portion of the costs of constructing the plant with the Town contributing $1.5 million while the District will contribute $1 million. Full funding for the project has not been locked down yet but Town officials have applied for and hope to receive grants to cover the remainder of the $6 million price tag.
Two other sizable projects that were started in 2015 will see completion in 2016. The DeBerard Draw project is a sanitary sewer system construction project installing a gravity flow line near the base of Granby Ranch. A little over $500,000 of the $2.5 million dollar total project cost has been budgeted for 2016.
Granby’s other major project expected to see completion in 2016 is the Moraine Park project, installing standardized municipal water pipe infrastructure in a three-block section of unincorporated Grand County located entirely within the boundaries of the Town of Granby. The Town has budgeted $200,000 of the total $1.3 million cost of the project in 2016.
The 2016 budget proposes using $13,500 from the Town’s Conservation Trust Fund to finish the Polhamus Park project and for maintenance on the ballfields. The reserve on the fund is proposed to increase by $5,030 in 2016.
The total projected revenues for Granby for 2016 are $15,451,978 for all funds with $5,422,841 coming from sources other than property tax, or from sales tax, use tax, utility fees, Capital Fund transfers and other revenues. General property tax is projected to contribute $377,297 of the overall total. The Town anticipates receiving $7,960,721 from grants and loans. Granby is also projecting approximately $1 million in funding from various fund reserves under the Town’s purview. Five of Granby’s Town funds will see reserve increases in 2016 totaling $267,048.
Sales tax revenues for Granby continue to climb with sales tax up in 2015 by 10.69 percent above the same nine-month period of tabulation in 2014, accounting for an additional $174,175 in sales tax receipts. The overall projected increase in sales tax revenues for 2015 is four percent above 2014 numbers with a projected two percent increase in 2016. Granby expects to take in $377,297 in property taxes. That figure includes an abatement of $45,856.
Use tax is down in Granby and is running well below 2014 levels according to the official Town of Granby Budget Message. Granby Finance Director Sharon Spurlin explained the lower use tax revenues reflect the fact that construction still has not rebounded in the Granby area. The sales and use tax receipts are divided up between the General fund and the Capital fund with 87.5 percent of receipts going to the General fund and the 12.5 percent going to Capital.
The assessed valuation for the Town of Granby for the 2016 budget is $45,925,09, a decrease from the 2015 assessed evaluation of $46,607,030, approximately $680,000 less. Since 2011 Granby has seen an overall decrease in property tax of approximately $223,000.
A notable change to the Granby budget for 2016 is the addition of one fulltime water operator to Granby’s South Service Area, bringing the Town of Granby’s number of full-time employees to 24. No step increases for salaries were included in the 2016 budget. The Budget Message, which is put out along with the budget, states, “We are once again looking at a budget that does not demonstrate significant increase to expenditures other than increases in health insurance, one additional staff person, utilities and fuel.” Granby’s health insurance costs will go up 12 percent in 2016.
General fund expenditures for 2016 are projected at $5,885,330 and the Town expects to use $640,210 of restricted and unrestricted reserves. Of the total General fund budget $3,552,048 is the operational expenditure total.
In 2016 Granby expects to use designated reserves to purchase a backhoe, a Public Safety server, other computer related items and for an RV dump station at Kaibab Park. Projections regarding the use of reserve funds can and do change throughout the year. For the last three years Granby has projected the use of unrestricted reserves while actually seeing increases in the General fund reserve.
Granby is projecting transfers of $636,785 from the Capital fund to the General fund for capital purchases, street projects and grant matches. Of the $636,785 transfer total $298,500 are grant matches. The projected ending fund balance for the Capital fund is $526,864.
Grant revenue for 2016 is budgeted at $1,247,060. The Town has already been awarded $797,060 in grant money and is awaiting receipt of the funds.
A rate hearing for all utility rates proposed in the 2016 budget will be held on Tuesday Dec. 8 at the Granby Town Hall.
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