Craig City Council introduces draft 2013 budget

Downtown may benefit from more streetlights in 2013

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At its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, Oct. 9 meeting minutes.

• Approved, 7-0, the renewal of a retail liquor store license for Loadout Liquor’s.

• Approved, 7-0, the renewal of a retail liquor store license for Dark Horse Liquor.

• Approved, 7-0, the renewal of a hotel and restaurant liquor license for Ocean Pearl.

• Approved, 7-0, the renewal of a hotel and restaurant liquor license for Fiesta Jalisco.

• Approved, 7-0, Resolution Number 8 to appropriate additional funds to the Wastewater fund to pay city’s share of water main loop installation.

• Approved, 7-0, the first reading of Ordinance Number 1020 to increase municipal court costs from $15 to $20.

• Heard September financial report.

• Heard water and wastewater monthly reports.

Craig City Council on Tuesday the introduced a draft of Ordinance Number 1021 outlining its proposed 2013 budget.

The total operating budget, as presented Tuesday, tops out at $21,132,630, which is a $2,931,145 increase over 2012.

Almost $6 million, more than 25 percent of the city’s total 2012 revenue and carryover funds, has been earmarked for the city’s reserve accounts.

In addition nearly all of the city’s major funds are penciled to increase slightly next year.

Some of that additional money accounts for a three percent cost of living increase for city employees, said Craig City Manager Jim Ferree.

The only funds not increasing in 2013 are the general services, building maintenance, Center of Craig, capital outlay, All Crimes Enforcement Team and medical benefits funds, according to the draft budget.

Though a number of line items that need to be addressed before Nov. 13 when the budget undergoes its first reading at council’s next scheduled meeting — including increased funding requests from the Human Resources Council and the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership — most of Tuesday night’s conversation focused on proposed capital improvement projects through the parks and recreation department.

Dave Pike, director of parks and recreation, presented council with his top six projects he would like to address in the coming years.

Among the items on Pike’s list were streetlight replacements in downtown Craig, installing restrooms in public parks, constructing a dog park, tackling a number of beautification projects, replacing a department vehicle and installing fencing on city-owned property at the Sand Rocks.

Though not his personal favorite, Pike said replacing downtown streetlights was his highest priority because the project has already been tabled the last two or three years.

Pike estimates the cost of replacing 27 streetlights with newer LED lamps in lower and upper downtown Craig at $59,400, which does not include installation.

$20,000 was allocated for new streetlights in the city’s 2012 budget. That money will be carried over in 2013.

The question then became whether to phase in streetlight replacement over the next three years or allocate more funds to the parks and recreation’s 2013 budget to complete the project next year.

The consensus among council was to do it all at once, but an assessment of the city’s existing infrastructure needs to be completed before installation costs could be estimated, Pike said.

Ferree pointed out the city is over its 25 percent reserve fund requirement by about $328,000 according to the draft budget, making additional funds for projects like streetlight replacement available.

Council will not take official action on any of Pike’s proposals or some of the line items in question until further information can be compiled.

A copy of the draft budget will be on the city’s web site by the end of the day, Ferree said.

Council will hold two public hearings when the budget undergoes its first reading Nov. 13 and prior to the budget’s adoption at council’s Nov. 27 meeting.

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

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