weather icon Clear

City gets first look at 2017 budget

The City Council on Wednesday held its first workshop of the year to discuss a proposed budget for fiscal year 2017, which forecasts increased revenues in the general and utility funds and about $3 million in capital spending on projects, vehicles and equipment upgrades.

The budget is both an operational and a capital budget, Finance Director Shirley Hughes wrote in a staff report, which means it covers the city’s day-to-day operating costs like salaries, supplies and repairs, as well as equipment and vehicle purchases that can cost $50,000-$100,000.

Hughes anticipated the biggest topic at the meeting would be looming rate hikes to cover the utility fund deficit.

“The utility fund is having difficulty paying for its costs,” she said in a phone interview Tuesday.

The city’s general fund took out a loan to build the Boulder Creek Golf Club and was able to pay it back this year, Hughes said. Although $1.6 million from the “interfund loan” payoff has covered the utility fund’s deficit for fiscal year 2016 and the balance of the loan will cover the deficit for 2017, the fact remains that the utility fund is not making enough money to cover its own costs, Hughes said.

That is, in part, “because we have not raised rates in a while,” she said. Because the city’s utility fund is an enterprise fund, it needs to be self-sustaining.

A recent study sponsored by the Public Works Department found that the city would need to raise customers’ rates in order for its water, sewer and electric operations to pay for themselves.

“That’s going to be the biggest issue this budget season,” Hughes said. If the fund can’t pay for itself, its expenses will have to be folded into the general fund, which would add a huge deficit to that fund.

State law dictates the city’s tentative budget be submitted to the Department of Taxation by April 15. The final budget needs to be approved by May 31.

Contact Kimber Laux at klaux@bouldercityreview.com or 702-586-9401. Find her on Twitter: @lauxkimber

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Legal defense could total nearly $100,000

Boulder City has spent almost $40,000 on its defense in a District Court case and could spend more than double that amount when all is said and done, according to court documents.

Historic Preservation Day goes virtual

Boulder City’s monthlong celebration of historic preservation starts today and will feature virtual tours of several local properties.

Council OKs expanded solar lease

More money is coming to the city’s coffers as council members recently approved adding land to a lease option held by Silver Peak Solar LLC.

City files motion to dismiss open meeting law violation claims

A new motion to dismiss some of the claims in an Eighth District Court case against the city has been filed, and a hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 5.

Meeting to discuss city attorney canceled due to improper notice

A special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 22, to discuss firing City Attorney Steve Morris was canceled because the process server did not give him proper notice of the meeting, despite initially saying he did.

Grant program to aid small businesses

Boulder City has a new grant program to help its small businesses and residents weather through the COVID-19 storm.

Survey reveals fewer ‘historic’ properties

Boulder City will not lose its spot on the National Register of Historic Places even though it no longer has enough contributing properties in the historic area.

Risk fund to pay legal expenses

The city will not have to allocate money from the general fund to pay for its legal representation in a Nevada District Court case involving two of its staff members, according to the head of the finance department.

Motion to halt firings of city attorney, city manager denied

The motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent City Council from terminating the employment contracts for the city attorney and city manager was denied the morning of Sept. 3 by Jim Crockett, a judge in Nevada’s Eighth District Court.

Complaint reveals plot to end employees’ contracts

A plan to terminate the employment contracts of the city attorney and city manager and deny them their severance pay may have begun more than a year ago, according to a new motion filed in a District Court case against the city.