The main agenda item at the most recent work session of the Cedaredge board of trustees was the 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.
Auditor Pete Blair of Blair and Associates reviewed the report with trustees, explaining that, overall, the town is doing a great job. They tend to budget conservatively, specifically with revenues, and end up with more than expected.
For example, the general fund budget was around $190,000. At the end of 2018 the town had $327,932, which Blair said was due to the town's care in expenditures and increase in revenues.
Golf course revenues were down about $5,000, likely due to drought, but Blair said he expected it to be worse. The good news, he said, was that even though revenues went down, expenditures were also kept low.
The town received significant federal assistance through a grant for a water project, plus DOLA money. Blair explained a new part of the audit was to ensure the town is in compliance with use of funds. He said that it's his opinion there were no problems in the account records or how statements are presented.
Regarding government and business related activities, assets rose $1.5 million, largely due to the water line project. Most expenditures go to public safety, then general government. Blair said it's beneficial for the town to continue with projects and reinvesting in the town because it offsets depreciation.
Mayor Gene Welch said that the town does try to be thorough and keep everyone aware of what's going on. The budget process is extensive, typically taking about three months each year.
Chief Dan Sanders spoke to trustees next about the Back the Badge Public Safety Initiative. A collective work of the five county law enforcement offices, they're aiming for a one percent tax initiative. The goal of the collaborative effort is to "increase the number of services provided to our citizens, as well as improvement of existing services."
Sanders said the Cedaredge Police Department hasn't seen a budget increase despite growth in crime and community demand. Crime has decreased nationally but Sanders said crime has gotten pushed into lower crime areas, such as Delta County, causing an increase locally. Specifically, illegal narcotic crimes and drug investigations have spiked.
Sanders wants to "get a handle on it" but finds it challenging due to being short staffed. He said a big part of handling crime is creating a deterrent, which is best through an increase of staff and use of K-9s.