Moffat County proposes $2.2 million in cuts for 2018 budget | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County proposes $2.2 million in cuts for 2018 budget

Sasha Nelson and Lauren Blair

Cary Herndon teaches Keely McCurdy how to handle a hockey stick during Try Hockey for Free in 2015 at the Moffat County Ice Arena. Increasing fees at Moffat County Ice Arena at Loudy-Simpson Park is one proposal for raising county revenue as part of a preliminary budget passed by Moffat County Commissioners Tuesday.

The preliminary budget passed by Moffat County Commissioners Tuesday proposes to trim nearly $2.2 million, or 2.62 percent, to "realign" the budget in the face of steep declines in tax revenue.

Colorado state law requires the county to pass a balanced budget.

Tax revenue has decreased by over $2.1 million since 2012, causing previous boards of commissioners to eliminate county positions and use reserves to balance the budget.

With revenues projected to continue declining and reserves projected to run out by 2021 under current budgeting practices, the commissioners turned this year to a new process — Priority Based Budgeting. The method will allow them to develop a long-term budget.

County departments have proposed cuts of over $400,000 in expenditures from their budgets. Departments will also have to do without almost $470,000 in transfers of revenue from the county general fund.

County departments also proposed ways to raise revenues by a projected $422,000, such as increased fees at Moffat County Ice Arena at Loudy-Simpson Park.

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These cuts and new revenues result in a total decrease in county general fund expenditures of almost $1.7 million.

The county has until Dec. 15 to finalize the budget.

"It is a proposal. I think we can expect a lot of changes before the final is approved in December," said County Commissioner Ray Beck after the vote to approve to preliminary budget.

Friday’s Craig Press will feature a more detailed look at the preliminary budget.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1795 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBNews or contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

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