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$5.1M budget draws on reserves

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The Cedaredge Town Board acting on Thursday, Dec. 8, adopted a 2017 budget totalling $5.11 million across all six of the town's individual budget funds.

However, expenses are projected to exceed revenues across the six funds by $151,934, meaning that five of the funds will have to draw from reserves to achieve budget balance in 2017.

The one budget fund that is showing a projected 2017 surplus (i.e. revenues exceed expenses) is the golf course fund. According to an abstract of the town's 88-page budget document provided by town hall, the golf course fund will end next year in the black by $23.

In October, the town board gave the golf course injections of cash from the town water fund and from the town sewer fund totalling $16,000 that was needed in order to continue operations. In addition, the town board on a split vote wrote off a loan of more than $81,000 to the golf course from the water fund.

Analysis of financial results for the golf course's 2016 operations will not be complete until the annual audit is available in a few months. In 2015, the golf course took in somewhat more for operations than it spent, just as projected for next year. However, an official audit report for that year as reported in July and which takes into account depreciation expense "shows an overall loss of $63,409 for the golf course in 2015. That adds to a loss of $47,682 in 2014 for a total loss for the two years of $111,901. The big losses are accounted for by the fact that infrastructure, equipment and facilities are depreciating in useful life and in value far more quickly than funds are being set aside to replace them."

The town's budget abstract breaks down 2017 finances of the three largest funds as follows (some figures rounded): general fund revenues $1.76 million; expenses $1.79 million; reserves needed to balance, $29,906.

In the water fund: revenues $1.81 million; expenses $1.83 million; reserves needed to balance, $14,441.

In the sewer fund: revenues $744,350; expenses $789,047; reserves needed to balance $44,697.

In other budget related matters the following were reported:

• Term-limited District 2 County Commissioner Bruce Hovde presented the town with a check for $28,500 during the trustees' Dec. 8 meeting. The money is from Lottery proceeds the county receives and then distributes among municipalities.

• Staff reported the final cost of the new sewer plant as $4.86 million, a figure which Town Administrator Katie Sickles said was $31,496 (0.65 percent) over budget.

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