Town outlines changes in revenues due to pandemic

By Chris Mannara
Staff Writer

Another update on the town’s budget was given to the Pagosa Springs Town Council at its regular meeting on May 21.

Council had previously discussed the town’s budget at its meeting on April 23, with anticipated reductions expected due to the coronavirus pandemic, Town Manager Andrea Phillips explained.

“We committed to bring to you, basically, a new projection every month on our revenues compared to our actuals through the end of that month,” Phillips explained. “This is giving us an estimate for the end of the year.”

The town is still looking at a decrease in its revenues and has already made cutbacks to make savings, she explained.

A hiring freeze, cuts to the travel and training budget as well as cuts to supplies have been made, she described.

“We have also postponed some programs and canceled some different things like the K.I.D.S. Camp and some of our rec programs,” she said.

Some projects that council will have to decide whether or not it wants to move forward with or not is the Cotton Hole project and the Hermosa Street Riverwalk trail, Phillips noted.

“If we want to try and construct it this year and take advantage of the good weather, we’ll need to probably put it out for bid no later than maybe mid-June and award it in July,” she said.

“I’m just going to continue to argue the fiscally conservative approach to everything this summer,” council member Mat deGraaf said during the meeting. “I feel like by the time we get an understanding of where we sit financially, we will have already missed any sort of window for construction of especially these larger projects.”

Within agenda documentation, the town’s 2020 budget projects $3,749,983 in annual revenues for the general fund, but by May the town had only received $932,998 in revenues, leading to the updated year-end estimate of $2,907,479.

The town’s 2020 budget for the general fund estimates $3,714,564 for expenditures for the year, but by May only $1,326,408 in expenditures had been made.

Now, the year-end estimate for the town’s general fund expenditures is anticipated to be $3,633,156, according to agenda documentation.

The general fund’s ending cash reserve is projected to be $1,889,626 in the budget, but by May the ending cash reserve was only $1,725,198.

Now, the year-end estimate for the town’s general fund’s ending cash reserve is projected to be $1,392,931.

The town’s tourism fund had $985,000 in projected revenues in the 2020 budget, but by May only $225,938 had been received. 

For the town tourism fund, revenues are now projected to be $488,038 by the end of the year.

Town tourism expenditures were projected to be $989,289. 

By May, town tourism expenditures were only $235,726, leading to the year-end estimate for that fund being $992,995.

In a follow-up interview, Phillips explained that the year-end estimate was larger than the 2020 budget number because the town is anticipating going into reserves.

“We will probably have to do that in the general fund and capital fund as well, if revenues don’t come up a little bit,” she said.

The ending cash reserve for the town tourism fund was anticipated to be $584,445 within the 2020 budget, but as of May the ending cash reserve was $644,415.

The projected year-end estimate for the town tourism fund’s ending cash reserve is $149,246, according to agenda documentation.

Phillips also noted that lodging establishments have been given until the end of June to pay lodging taxes, which will affect the tourism fund.

“Not only did they not have a lot of business, but some of them are choosing not to pay until later,” she said.

Capital fund revenues for the town were projected to be $7,344,272 for 2020, but by May, capital fund revenues were listed at just $1,468,999.

The updated year-end estimate for capital fund revenues is projected to be $7,096,303, according to agenda documentation.

Capital fund expenditures were projected to be $7,755,774 in the budget, while by May expenditures were $1,388,543.

 Year-end estimates for capital fund expenditures are projected to be $8,193,499.

“If it’s larger on the expenditures side, that means that we’re spending more than what we had anticipated. For the capital budget, that does happen when we’re not able to get projects done in the prior fiscal year so they carry over into the next fiscal year,” she said.

Projected ending cash reserves for the capital fund were $788,430 within the 2020 budget, according to agenda documentation.

By May, the ending cash reserve for the capital fund was $1,704,786, and the new year-end estimate for the ending cash reserve for the capital fund is projected to be $527,133, according to agenda documentation.

These budget numbers are anticipated to change, Phillips explained, adding that town council will be getting an update each month.

 

 

This story was posted on May 28, 2020.