Town scheduled to approve budget Dec. 1

By Marshall Dunham
Staff Writer

In a regular meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19, the Pagosa Springs Town Council reviewed its 2016 proposed budget.

The council is scheduled to approve the budget on Tuesday, Dec. 1.

The main points of discussion on the proposed budget included the service organizations and economic development categories, which are both part of the general fund. The council also discussed the capital fund.

When discussing the capital fund, Town Manager Greg Schulte pointed out that the council received a large number of requests for funding.

The capital fund contains roughly $5.9 million in budgeted expenses, with roughly $5.8 million in revenues budgeted. Schulte then explained that $134,000 would be taken out of reserves.

“With that amount … we still have $728,000 in unrestricted reserves,” explained Schulte.

The council has a policy of withholding three month’s worth of revenue in reserves as emergency reserves, explained Schulte.

“The calculation for that for the capital fund is $530,000,” noted Schulte. This would leave nearly $200,000 in available funding out of reserves, though it is not budgeted.

Schulte went on to list a few of the requests that the staff believe could be allocated as capital expenses. Among these included $15,000 for a new transit vehicle for the Archuleta County Mountain Express Public Transit, $21,000 for a new loader for the Streets Department, as well as a request from the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce to excuse the Chamber from its lease agreement for 2016, a sum that would require budgeting $14,000.

Schulte stated that the Chamber is “essentially our tenant in the visitors’ center. We have a lease agreement with them, and they pay us rent.”

Also included was a grant for the Safe Routes to School Program that would help in building sidewalks on routes that children use to get to school. The grant would require the town to provide a match of $70,000.

With all of the requests that could be allocated as capital expenses, the total reached $135,000, explained Schulte.

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This story was posted on November 25, 2015.