BLOG #6 — 2018 COUNTY BUDGET SERIES: Revised Budget Maintains $4 Million in Excess Reserves

County Administrator Robbie LeValley posted a revised 2018 budget today to the county website proposing total spending of $34,427,531 and estimated $17 million in reserve and holdover funds at the start of the new year.
An earlier proposed budget, publicly noticed in the Nov. 22 issue of the Delta County Independent, called for $33,682,015 in operational expenses. The revisions add an additional $745,714 in fund appropriations for projects including matching federal and state aviation funds for complete runway construction at Blake Field; Courthouse campus improvements including the jail and court facilities; and a new landfill liner.
The revised budget estimates $16,718,054 already in the bank on Jan. 1. The County targets a 25 percent reserve of their annual budget and in 2018, that reserve would equal an estimated $8.6 million. The proposed budget shows current reserves is 24 percent over and above this target resulting in more than $4 million in unappropriated funds.
• Earlier worries about the affects of the Gallagher and Tabor amendments and a lowered mill levy on property tax are estimated to have only a small impact of the County’s bottom line.
• And while Delta County says it will “continue to invest dollars into areas that will provide economic benefit to the area and help diversify the economy,” the revised budget reflects a decrease in funding to Delta County Economic Development (DCED) by $25,000 to $15,000 while the City of Delta has increased their contribution to $50,000.
• The County will continue to employ a contract planner in the Planning Department. Administrator LeValley has budgeted $80,000 to continue Kelly Yeager’s consulting contract. Yeager was paid almost $100,000 in 2017. The recent hire of a director and additional clerical staff will bring the Planning Department staff/consulting budget to close to $300,000, an increase of more than 60 percent over last year’s budget.
• Colorado Revised Statute 29 makes it possible for any interested elector to file any objections to the proposed budget at any time prior to the final adoption of the budget. Commissioners plan a public hearing on Monday, Dec. 4 at 1:30 pm and budget adoption is scheduled for 3:30 pm that same day.