Hot Sulphur to finalize 2011 budget Thursday
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS – It’s not quite as exciting as last year’s, with no line items carrying $2.5 million in federal grant money.
For a town with a projected general fund of about $447,000 in 2011, such hefty line items in the town budget can be a rarity.
But the town has something to show for the $2.5 million that dropped to zero: A new water treatment system, the plant for which the town recently received an Environmental Protection Agency award.
In its draft 2011 budget, expected to be finalized and adopted on Dec. 2, the town of Hot Sulphur Springs has returned to its business-as-usual with a renewed focus on town streets, devoting to the general fund property-tax revenue earmarked for streets improvements. As much as $30,000 in 2010 property-tax revenue from that fund is being carried over to the 2011 proposed budget, making a $60,000 balance for future street work.
The 2011 draft budget reflects another town improvement, a pedestrian bridge starting from the new water plant over the Colorado River to Pioneer Park. Survey work started on the bridge project in 2010, but the bulk of construction will take place in 2011, expending a Colorado Department of Transportation grant in the amount of $232,000. The town is providing matching funds of $58,000 to the bridge project, carried over from the 2010 budget.
And in the sewer fund, $27,000 has been set aside for continued work on the town’s lagoons in an effort to meet state standards. The town plans to use that budgeted amount to leverage matching grant funds to help pay for the project.
The total amount of expenditures in the sewer fund budget are listed as $219,500; the total amount of expenditures in the water fund are listed as $281,700.
So far, no layoffs or changes in employee pay and benefits are planned in the 2011 budget. The town pays 100 percent of employee health insurance benefits and a portion of employees’ family benefits, amounting to a budgeted $35,000. Whether there will be an increased cost to the town in health insurance coverage is still a question, according to Town Clerk Sandy White.
The town has three full-time employees and three, sometimes four, part-time employees. Personnel expenditures account for about 23 percent of the town’s operating budget, according to White.
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