Granby draft budget shows town in strong fiscal position
It was smiles all around Tuesday night as Granby Board of Trustees dug into the town’s proposed budget for 2019.
The budget outlook for Granby next year is looking very strong thanks to multiple factors including the elimination of all significant outstanding town debt. The strong fiscal position Granby is looking at for 2019 was made possible through the sale of two parcels of Shorefox land to Sun Communities. The sale of those two parcels, totaling roughly 361 acres, added up to $6.25 million. The land was sold from a larger parcel, roughly 1,500 acres, Granby initially paid $4.5 million for in 2016.
Thanks to the influx of funds from the sale of Shorefox land Granby was able to pay off the outstanding debt related to the purchase of the property. The town was also able to pay off the remaining debt on the Granby Town Hall building, which was constructed after Marvin Heemeyer destroyed the previous town hall in 2004.
After paying off all the outstanding debt Granby was left with approximately $800,000 from the sale of land to Sun Communities. Town officials used $500,000 of that to create a new fleet enterprise fund, which will become the town’s official fund used to purchase new and replacement vehicles and equipment. The remaining $300,000 was put into the town’s capital investment fund, which is used to pay for capital projects, other than vehicle purchases, such as street paving, facility repairs, and municipal construction projects.
Tuesday night Granby’s Finance Director Sharon Spurlin outlined a draft budget for 2019. The budget workshop was an opportunity for Granby Trustees to provide input regarding changes they wanted to see before a final draft is brought before the board for approval in late November.
Highlights from Tuesday night’s workshop included a projected five percent increase in sales tax revenues in 2019 over 2018. The budget also predicts an additional $150,000 in new revenue from the implementation of an as yet unapproved short-term rental licensing program.
Overall nearly all segments of the town’s general fund are projected to see an increase in 2019, with the notable exception of the town’s planning budget. Town Manager Aaron Blair noted the decease was made possible by the completion of planning work related to Sun Communities two large projects on Shorefox.
Every other segment of Granby’s general fund; legislative, administrative, public safety, courts, public works, recreation, parks, economic development, programs project and facility, are all projected to see varying increases next year. Spurlin noted that part of the increase in budget for next year was the result of recent hiring. According to Spurlin Granby has added four new staffers in 2018 and plans to hire an additional police officer next summer.
Spurlin will take the input she received Tuesday night from Granby’s Trustees and use it to develop a final draft 2019 budget. Granby will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2019 budget on Nov. 27. The town will also hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the town’s water fees the same night. Town officials tentatively hope to have the budget for 2019 approved at the Nov. 27 meeting following the public hearing.
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