$3.6M for capital projects in 2013
By Kathleen Goddeyne -
During the Nov. 20 City Council meeting, the 2013 budget was proposed. The City of Fruita’s budget shows the 2013 Fund Balance is projected to be slightly over $4 million.
Fruita City Manager Clint Kinney and Fruita Finance Director, Margaret Steelman, stated in a letter to Mayor Buck and city council members, “Over the last several years the City has felt the effects of the national recession; since 2009 we have experienced decreased revenue from property tax, federal mineral lease/severance tax, sales tax and other sources. Through a variety of policy decisions and management plans, the City of Fruita has weathered the recession well and has been able to successfully maintain the level of services provided to the community while remaining fiscally sound.”
The fund revenue from taxes is projected to increase by nine percent over the 2012-budgeted amount, $3.6 million. $1,925,050 of funding will come from Intergovernmental Revenues such as the Federal Enhancement Grant, the Energy Impact Grant, a Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Grant, and Mesa County Grants. Another $1,274,050 will be transferred from other funds.
The city plans to focus on six areas of capital funded projects including developing the full potential for the downtown area, community building, economic development, human resources, infrastructure and water projects.
$110,000 is projected for Mountain Water System Improvements and $100,000 is projected for Downtown Improvements.
“With the downtown Colorado Inc. process underway, we have dedicated staff time to ensuring progress on this goal,” the letter stated. Another $50,000 has been set aside for improvements to Civic Center Park. Specific plans for these projects are expected to fall to a variety of sources including the Downtown Advisory Board.
An estimated $1,350,000 will be spent on street improvements such as sidewalk replacement, overlay program, and Pine Street Improvements. $100,000 will be spent on drainage improvements at the E. Columbine Drain. The City is also projecting to spend $60,000 on shop improvements.
Finally the budget has $1,658,350 set aside for park and open space improvements. $205,000 will be spent on Fremont Trail, $1,023,250 will be spent on Little Salt Wash Trail, $10,000 more will be spent on Little Salt Wash Park improvements, $350,100 will be spent on the Fruita Bike Park, $20,000 will go toward park improvements, and $50,000 will go toward the Fruita Civic Center Park, as stated previously.
Another important budgetary factor comes with the water projects.
“Two major water project initiatives are underway and will be continued into 2013. The first initiative is an analysis of our current water rights…In addition, physical improvements to Reservoir No. 3 will continue,” the letter stated.
The expected expenses for the Sewer Fund, which comes from general tax dollars, adds up to $3,087,025 with monies going to administration, collection system, treatment, debt service, capital projects and equipment, special projects, reserves, and transfers to other funds. Those expenses are projected to decrease 56 percent from the 2012 budgeted and 55 percent from estimated expenses. According to the statement, “this is primarily due to the completion of the capital project for the new wastewater treatment plant and the projected completion of the SH 6 interceptor sewer line in 2012.”
Another change is in store for Fruitans. There will be a 5.5 percent rate increase ($0.55) for the trash service per house. The annual increase is due to cost of living and fuel for the trucks.