At the Dec. 13 Cedaredge Board of Trustees meeting, the trustees approved a number of resolutions, including adopting and appropriating the 2019 budget. This budget was first presented to the trustees a month ago, on Nov. 8.
Compared to last year, anticipated revenue will decrease from $4,679,539 to $3,913,267. Total expenditures decreased from 2018 numbers of $4,889,855 to $4,257,478. Reserves are set for $1,945,027, higher than last year's $1,167,629.
Total projected fund balance for Dec. 31, 2019, will be about $300,000 less than 2018 numbers at $1,600,815.
Some noteworthy budget changes for the 2019 budget include:
• Employees will receive a three percent wage increase, which is said to not be based on merit or living expenses. CIRSA property and casualty insurance is increasing nine percent.
• Health insurance premiums are increasing seven percent. The program's employee versus town share is also being restructured, totaling a $35,000 increase.
• Police labor costs will increase $47,000 to better reflect the cost for the extra three hours officers are able to work each week.
• The new town attorney is 25 percent more an hour than the previous.
• The golf course is using $10,000 from reserves to help shift its numbers into the black this year. Contributions to the golf course from Water/Wastewater Fund and General Funds also increase.
• Golf course expenditures are down $35,000 from 2017 actual records. A drought plan or reseeding/recovery will be implemented in 2019.
• Two new trail projects are scheduled for 2019 which have a cash match grant from the Conservation Trust Fund.
• Five water fund projects are scheduled for 2019 such as replacing the north water treatment plant roof.
• Mineral tax is decreasing exponentially, as is being experienced with other towns. Since 2014 this budget number has decreased over $100,000.
• Sales tax is budgeted conservatively at an increase of 2.5 percent, though in 2018 overall sales tax collection was up nearly six percent.
• The town is predicting a 12 percent decrease in water usage revenue next year based on trends seen after a change in habits due to the drought. Additionally, projected 2018 revenue decreased by about $53,000 due to conservation seen in the winter of 2017-2018.
• Because of the drought, user fees are expected to decrease for the golf course about $95,000.
Citizens wishing to learn more about the town's budget can view the document on the town website: cedaredgecolorado.com (search "document center." Once in the document center click the folder "finance" then "budget" and scroll down to 2019 budget).
Paper copies are also available at town hall and citizens can call or email town staff with questions at 970-856-3123 or manager@cedaredge colorado.com.