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City OKs $27 million budget for FY 2014

Jun 27, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

The Riverton City Council approved its fiscal year 2014 budget Tuesday night at roughly $25 million in revenue and expenditures at $27 million.

The city's personnel costs accounted for the biggest part of the general fund at 63.9 percent.

The budget was approved with an annual merit-based pay increase, depending on a positive performance evaluation for eligible staff. The budget also included a 2 percent cost of living adjustment and 6 percent increase in health insurance rates. Health coverage costs are shared by the city and employees. The employees also will pay a half-percent increase in the retirement system which is mandated under state law.

City administrator Steven Weaver said about 40 percent of the employees are eligible for a merit raise through the general fund. After a successful evaluations, they would a 5 percent increase in their wages.

Balanced budget

Director of administrative services Courtney V. Bohlender said budget reserves would be used to balance the budget and erase the $2 million difference between budgeted revenue and expense.

"We don't show reserves as revenue," she said.

Bill Urbigkit, the public services director for the city, said the new water tank project on Airport Hill cost $9.2 million. Outside funds were used for the tank. The state paid two-thirds, while the city is responsible for one-third of the costs.

The money is "reserves we saved for that purpose, and now we're using it for that purpose," he said.

"The proposed capital plan for this fiscal year calls for a number of great projects to be complete," reads a memo from city staff. "71 percent of the city's capital projects are funded either partially or entirely through funds outside the city's general fund or other fund reserves."

Among those projects are park improvements and water and sewer system changes.

Weaver added that there is a "slight increase" in revenues due to the additional supplemental funding received. An additional $7,000 was added to the budget for the PAWS animal shelter, which decreased the surplus amount for the city to roughly $27,000.

Weaver said if that money were to be used for an emergency or something else, it would have to be approved by the mayor and city council.

Weaver noted an increase in sanitation funds of $80,000 and the Riverton Rendezvous fund of $20,000 -- which will amend the fiscal 2012-13 budget in preparation of the new fiscal year budget. The amendments also were approved at the meeting Tuesday.

"For all of them we used the money that we had available in the funds except for sanitation and Rendezvous, where we had to take money, essentially, out of the reserves to cover those expenditures," he said.

In the sanitation fund, the city readjusted predictions in landfill charges and other items including the unanticipated natural gas vehicle for the city that was funded in part by Encana.

Bohlender said additional money was added for the Rendezvous fund for the improvements to a city-owned hot air balloon, aside from funding the Riverton Rendezvous Committee provided.

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