54°F
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.
THE LATEST
City’s efforts to help businesses highlighted

Boulder City dispersed thousands of dollars to local businesses in CARES grants this past fiscal year, according to a recent report from the Community Development department.

Controversial rezoning request to be considered

A request to rezone 115 acres of land near the Interstate 11 and U.S. Highway 95 interchange in Boulder City has been met with disagreement among members of the Planning Commission and City Council will soon be able to weigh in on it.

Tedder eager to help town thrive

Boulder City’s new City Manager Taylour Tedder has been on the job for two months and in that time has jumped into work feet first.

City launches emergency medical ride program

Residents will have another option to help pay for needed emergency medical transport through a new program from the Boulder City Fire Department.

Historical funds OK’d for tavern despite alterations to site

A local builder’s application for almost $100,000 in historic preservation grant funds was approved despite previously being denied and opposed by a current city leader.

City to update golf cart fleet

Boulder Creek Golf Club is getting a fleet of golf carts for about $200,000 less than originally budgeted thanks to a new five-year lease-purchase agreement.

Grant to fund purchase of breathing gear

Boulder City Fire Department has received more help in serving the community through a grant from the federal government.

Council extends gun club lease

The Boulder Rifle & Pistol Club is set for another 10 years after City Council approved a lease extension.

Finance department honored for budget presentation

Boulder City’s finance department was recently honored for its 2021 fiscal year budget with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.