Moffat County Commission approves 2013 budget

County earmarks more than $8 million in 2013 capital projects

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In other action...

At its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, sending a broadband letter of support to the National Telecommunications Information Administration.

• Approved, 3-0, a resolution setting 2013 mill levies.

• Approved, 3-0, a resolution amending the distribution of sales tax.

• Approved, 3-0, a resolution appropriating sums of money to county funds.

• Approved, 3-0, dissolving the Moffat County Federal Mineral Lease District.

• Approved, 3-0, supporting Craig City Council member Ray Beck’s reappointment to the Craig/Moffat County Airport Advisory Board.

• Discussed approving certain products to be exempt from county sales taxes.

• Heard road and bridge monthly reports.

• Approved, 3-0, joining neighboring counties in an oil shale environmental impact statement protest.

• Hosted quarterly health meeting.

• Approved, 3-0, the Haskins conditional use permit.

• Approved, 3-0, hiring a detention deputy for the Moffat County Jail.

• Approved, 3-0, transporting plowed snow to the Wyman Museum.

The Moffat County Commission approved Tuesday its final budget for 2013.

The budget tops out at just over $82 million, which is a two percent decrease compared to 2012, said Moffat County Finance Director Mindy Curtis.

A couple of factors contributed to the modest drop in 2013 funds, Curtis said.

Though sales tax increased by 1 percent, or $39,000, over 2012 budget projections property tax valuation dropped by $5.3 million, which resulted in $112,000 less in property tax revenue.

In addition The Memorial Hospital in Craig's budget decreased by $1.7 million to $36,148,028.

TMH commands the largest fund in the county budget, which, coupled with the $736,847 earmarked for the Housing Authority, leaves $45,153,153 across the rest of the county’s major service funds.

Though all of those funds are carrying at least a 28 percent operating reserve into 2013, some of the major service funds exceed the county’s 30 percent reserve requirement.

The road and bridge reserve fund, for example, is significantly higher than years past, said Commissioner Tom Gray, because of a $1.4 million pass through from the Moffat County Federal Mineral Lease District, which was dissolved Tuesday.

FML funds were typically used for road projects before the creation of the district, which is why the $1.4 million was diverted to the road and bridge reserve fund, Gray said.

Though the overall county budget dropped by two percent, the county did earmark more than $8 million to help fund an aggressive capital projects campaign in 2013, including improvements to curb and gutter in Shadow Mountain, continued energy audit recommendations, ice arena and pond improvements at Loudy-Simpson Park, and general upgrades to county buildings.

There also are asphalt projects earmarked for Moffat County Roads 4 and 41, and chip seal projects for CR 7.

With a little more than 100 miles of county roads in Moffat County, while taking into consideration it costs about $250,000 per mile for overlay, Gray was pleased to see road maintenance on 2013’s budget.

“Five years ago we were considering turning some of our paved roads back to gravel because of the costs,” Gray said. “A normal overlay lasts about 20 years, which means you have to do about five miles per year to stay on top of asphalt maintenance.

“It was a goal of ours to get back on the five mile a year rotation and I’m pleased we’ve gotten there.”

About $1.3 million in federal mineral lease dollars, including monies rolled over from 2012, are going toward 2013 capital projects, Curtis said.

The budget should be available online for public review today.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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