Hayden plans to trim budget

General fund revenue is expected to slip 3 percent for 2009

— Hayden has shifted down budget expectations for 2009, although a heavy load of flights at Yampa Valley Regional Airport could mean more sales-tax revenues than projected.

"Staff's take is that it's business as usual," Town Manager Russ Martin said last week. "We're expecting to do what we always do."

Under the plan Martin built with Finance Director Lisa Dowling, Hayden's general fund revenues are $40,342 higher than expenditures. Its enterprise fund, which includes water, sewer, trash and some administration, is on track to exceed expenditures by $8,238.

The 2009 general fund total is expected to be about $3.6 million, 2.7 percent less than the projected 2008 total of about $3.7 million.

"There are really no drastic cuts," Martin said.

The town has budgeted to take in about the same amount of sales tax in 2009 as it expects for 2008. Hayden officials expect more property tax because assessed property values and new construction increased this year. That should add $69,732 in property taxes, making the total $453,915, according to a budget overview.

The town plans to spend about 8 percent more on health insurance, though Hayden hasn't received a quote for 2009, the budget overview states. The town's YVRA expenses are projected to decrease because Martin plans to propose paying 5 percent of airport-related revenue to Routt County instead of 10 percent.

YVRA officials expect to see ski season passenger numbers decrease 10 percent compared with last season. Capacity has increased with the addition of 336 Frontier Airlines flights; however, so sales tax revenue for Hayden could increase if the planes bring in more people than expected.

YVRA officials stated in their budget that they expect Frontier's flights to run at 50 percent capacity.

The town of Hayden has spent money conservatively, even in good years, which adds to its financial stability, Martin said.

"When we grew, we didn't grow too much by staffing," he said. "We grew by buying equipment."

That means Hayden didn't take on a lot of recurring expenses in the form of staff salaries.

"We'll have the same people and new equipment," Martin said. "We'll just have to work with what we've got."

The Town Board is scheduled to examine the proposal during work sessions at 6:30 p.m. Monday and Oct. 27 at Town Hall.

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