Town gives proposed budget second reading

by nathan oster

With less money coming in from the state and fewer projects in the works, the Town of Greybull’s proposed budget for 2012-13 is more than $1 million less than the one the council approved for the current fiscal year.

The town council approved the second reading of its proposed budget during a special meeting Thursday.  The third and final reading is scheduled for Monday, June 11.

For the fiscal year that begins July 1, the town is proposing $4.38 million in revenues and expenditures.  For the 2011-12 fiscal year, the budget reflected $5.4 million in revenues and expenditures.

Town Clerk Kathy Smith informed the council at its first work session in April that general fund expenditures would need to be lower due to the lack of supplemental/direct distribution funding from the state.

For the current budget year, the town received $314,820 in hardship and distribution funds.  For 2012-13, the town will receive $174,218, a drop of approximately $140,000.

In fact, the town’s general fund budget this year comes to $1.23 million, down from $1.44 million budgeted for the current fiscal year.

The administration expenditures line item rose from $161,002 to  $174,500, in part due to the hiring of a new administrator, but several other departments will be working with less in their budgets, including police ($541,500, down from $545,000), municipal judge ($70,000, down from $92,000), fire ($21,000, down from $27,000), streets and alleys ($171,000, down from $202,000), mosquito control ($47,500, down from $76,500) and parks and recreation ($126,000, down from $166,200).

Enterprise funds

If the budget is approved in its current form, town customers will notice a $3 increase in their monthly utility bills, with $2.50 being for water and 50 cents for sanitation.

Nearly half ($1.14) of the $2.50 increase in the base water rate goes directly to Big Horn Regional to offset costs linked to the further expansion of the regional water supply system.

The rest ($1.36) is to cover operation and maintenance costs.

Smith budgeted a 50 cent increase in the base sanitation rate to cover anticipated increases in landfill fees, as well as the purchase of a new garbage truck.