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Hotchkiss council to approve 2016 budget

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The Hotchkiss Town Council is set to approve the 2016 budget during this week's monthly public meeting.

The draft budget estimates total available revenue of $1,970,246, based on estimates prior to certification of the fiscal year 2015 mill levy by Delta County. According to town clerk Marlene Searle, the levy was certified last week at 7.3 mills, and figures will be adjusted accordingly.

General funds are anticipated to be lower than in 2015, with estimated revenues at $788,375 and total available revenues at $1,988,605.

Total general office expenses for 2016 are projected at $233,666, public works department expenses are projected at $364,710, and police department expenses for 2016 are projected at $279,190.

Projected water fund revenues are $399,580, down from an estimated $400,780 in 2015, with expenses projected at $380,765, up from a 2015 estimate of $318,140. Some of the biggest rises in costs include water tests, up from an estimated $4,747 in 2015 to a projected $10,000 in 2016, and costs associated with water treatment.

Sanitation fund revenues are projected at $2,303,302, of which $2,057,082 is from grants and loans for the ongoing sewer line upgrades project. Sanitation fund expenses are projected to be $2,307,667, of which $2,068,010 is related to sewer line upgrades.

Garbage fund revenues projections are at $117,005 and expenses are projected at $114,000.

The Conservation Trust Fund anticipates total revenues and expenses of $10,785. CTF statute requires that 100 percent of revenues be spent annually.

The capital improvements fund revenues, collected largely through a 1 percent city sales tax and property taxes, are projected to be $240,600, with total available fund revenue at $540,688; expenses are projected at $392,240. Anticipated projects include new asphalt ($95,000), conversion to LED street lights ($20,000), curb and gutter ($45,000), equipment purchase ($17,000), paths and trails ($64,000), vehicle purchase ($40,000), and sidewalk replacement ($30,000). The town projects an ending fund balance of $148,448, although the budget did not yet reflect an estimated $50,000 line item for the town's 2016 share of bringing high-speed broadband Internet services to Hotchkiss.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10, at Town Hall.

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