News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
City approves $21.9 million budget
Jun 11, 2014 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
The Riverton City Council approved a $21.9 million budget Tuesday for fiscal year 2014-2015 after noting some highlights and changes that had been made since it was first proposed.
"(The) staff is proud to say that we have a balanced budget," city administrator Steven Weaver said, emphasizing that it took a lot of time and effort to prepare.
Finances for the city have been difficult in the past two years, Weaver said, especially because the sales tax revenue, the largest general fund revenue for the city, has been running 10 percent short all year.
The fiscal budget presents a "balanced approach" to the operating functions of the city as well as the services provided to residents. Weaver said the tight budget shows that revenues exceed the expenses in the enterprise funds except for the airport fund, because it is subsidized by the general fund.
In revenues, the city expects an increase in the property tax, motor vehicle tax; Charter Cable, Source Gas and Rocky Mountain Power franchise fees; and encroachment and building fees. There are projected decreases in revenue in sales tax, supplemental funding provided by the state, and court fines.
The city reported no change with cost of living adjustments or stipends for personnel. The city and employee will absorb health insurance costs that are increasing by 6 percent. The employee-only plan will require employees to pay 10 percent, up from 2 percent.
The budget also includes projects, including the waste water treatment plan transfer switch, a runway at the Riverton Regional Airport, and a leak detection survey that Weaver said is performed on many water lines in town.
Contract for services
City staff proposed in May a 15 percent reduction to all nine agencies with contracts that provide services to the city.
In the budget, however, staff took the direction to increase the funding for Volunteers of America, R Recreation, the Fremont County Good Samaritan Center, the Children's Advocacy Project, and the Riverton Volunteer Fire Department.
The remaining four contracts -- Youth Services of Fremont County, the Paws for Life Animal League, the Riverton Chamber of Commerce and Injury Prevention Resources -- received the 15 percent reduction.
Overall, those changes provided a decrease from $400,000 to $379,000 in contract for services. Staff said the increases were made possible by cutting in other areas of the budget. Funding for these organizations is pulled from the supplemental funding appropriated to the city by the state.