Crawford adopts 2017 budget

By Tamie Meck


At the Dec. 7 meeting the Crawford Town Council voted to adopt the 2017 budget.

Trustees voted unanimously to adopt a resolution appropriating revenues of $110,912 to the general fund, $83,916 to the water fund, $93,418 to the sewer fund, $1,250 to the Conservation Trust Fund (Colorado Lottery), and no monies to the capital projects fund.

Trustees also voted to approve a resolution certifying the mill levy at 0.240 mills, to be levied against an assessed property valuation of $25,848,494 as certified by the Delta County Assessor's Office.

Some changes were made following the Nov. 16 public hearing on the budget, said public works director Bruce Bair, who was appointed by council to draft the budget.

A total of $7,500, split evenly between the general fund, water and sewer funds, was budgeted for auditing services, but after speaking with the town accountant it was determined that a full audit would not be needed, said Bair. He recommended $1,200 be budgeted in each of the funds.

In light of the pending recall election and other considerations, Bair recommended raising legal fees from $4,000 to $8,000 for the year.

Street maintenance was increased from $5,000 to $8,000. The original amount won't cover a necessary chip and seal project that includes B Street and part of Third Street, said Bair. The amount might be more than the actual project cost, but will cover it, he said.

Changes were made to the general fund's memberships and donations line items, which had been incorrectly allocated in the draft. The membership amount also didn't match what the town is committing to for 2017. Bair suggested the membership line item be reduced from $1,350 to $525 and that donations increase from $500 to $1,850, for an overall increase of $575.

Council agreed to all of the changes and also unanimously voted to return the $10,000 designated for broadband infrastructure to the general fund per comments made during the public hearing.

Since council doesn't take any formal actions during work sessions, Dec. 7 marked the final opportunity of the year to vote on agenda items. Trustees voted 5-1 to approve a $300 holiday bonus for each of the town's three employees, public works director Bruce Bair, department assistant Al Boyd, and town clerk Cally Gallegos. The bonuses were approved in the 2016 budget.

"I would like to make a suggestion that they pay us," joked trustee Chriss Watters.

Trustee Tammy Broughton cast the "nay" vote. She was denied a request to discuss the matter in executive session, arguing that it's been done that way in the past. "I think we can do it out here," said mayor Wanda Gofforth, adding that in her last four years on council, discussion wasn't held in executive session.

Following the vote, Broughton said she believed bigger bonuses should have been awarded.

Trustees also adopted a resolution to allow for the town, through its liquor licensing authority, to approve special event liquor licenses as allowed by state statute. The change is intended to streamline the application process and allows the town's liquor licensing authority to forego notifying the state of the application. Once permits are issued, the town is required to report the name and address of the organization to which a permit is issued to the state liquor enforcement division, along with the location where alcohol is to be served and date or dates of the event within 10 days of issuing the permit.

Prior to adopting the resolution, applications had to be submitted at least 30 days prior to the event, with the application fee going to the state, said town clerk Cally Gallegos. Under the resolution, the town approves the license and receives the $50 fee.

Since council doesn't vote at work sessions, held the third Wednesday of each month, anyone applying for a license must get their application in prior to the first meeting of the month, said Gallegos.