Craig City Council deals with $1 million dip in budget |

Craig City Council deals with $1 million dip in budget

Patrick Kelly
Craig Finance Manager and interim City Manager Bruce Nelson runs Craig City Council through a preliminary budget review on Aug. 25.
Patrick Kelly

Craig City Council is shrinking the 2017 budget about $1 million under last year’s figures to account for a growing discrepancy between revenues and expenditures.

At its bi-monthly meeting Tuesday night, the council introduced the budget.

On Nov. 8, council will conduct a second reading and host a public forum for comment on the budget. A final budget will be adopted at the Nov. 22 meeting.

Bruce Nelson, Craig finance director and interim city manager, said over a 10-year period, the city’s expenses have not fluctuated by a significant amount while revenues have dropped by about $2 million.

“Revenues and our surplus have just dropped off, and that’s why we’re reaching the point in time where we have to eventually look for additional revenues,” he said.

In the general fund, the city projected to spend $10.3 million in 2016 and collect $8.3 million. In 2017, revenues are projected bring in roughly $8 million and expenses will drop by 8.2 percent to $9.5 million.

“When you take the revenue coming in and expenditures, there’s about $1.4 million shortfall but that’s where we have a little bit reserve to use,” Nelson said.

The city will use part of its reserve fund to bridge the gap but that brings it close dipping to below its 25 percent reserve fund target.

“We’re really close to that figure right now,” Nelson said.

For a contingency fund, the city aims to keep at least 25 percent of the budget in reserves.

The total 2017 general fund end balance is projected at $2.4 million — just a million above the 25 percent reserve target of $2.3 million.

“If we get into next year and we don’t have much to carry forward, then we start having to look at (cuts) again,” Nelson said.

The city has already made cuts out of multiple parts of the 2017 budget, including personnel, maintenance and capital projects.

Decreases in tax revenue, the city’s primary source of income, are largely to blame for the deficit and the reason the city council is looking to raise sales tax rates next year.

“In 2008, we had revenues just over $10 million,” Nelson said. “Today, it’s only $8 million. That’s what were facing when we’re trying to balance the city budget,”

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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