Town of Carbondale approves $29.2 million budget for 2022
The town of Carbondale plans to draw on some of its reserves to help pay for several new projects and programs in 2022 as part of a $29.2 million town budget approved by trustees on Tuesday.
The Board of Trustees gave final approval to the overall budget for the coming year, which includes an $11.3 million general fund.
Among the major budget expenses planned for the year are:
- A 3% to 5% pay increase for town employees;
- The addition of two new positions, one in general operations and another in utilities;
- A $1.35 million land acquisition to expand the town’s public works facility;
- A $500,000 project to improve bike and pedestrian access on Eighth Street;
- $950,000 for the planned Crystal River Restoration project at River Valley Ranch;
- $660,000 for a municipal water and hydro project on Nettle Creek;
- $500,000 for a major cybersecurity upgrade; and $215,000 for street resurfacing.
Other highlights include $300,000 to support the formation of a Family and Youth Advisory Committee, a $260,000 grant to preserve the historic Thompson House and $100,000 toward the town’s affordable housing efforts.
To get there, the town plans to draw its reserves down to about 65% of the general fund budget, where it had been attempting to keep reserves at around 75% of the budget.
The town expects to end 2022 with a $7.46 million fund balance, Carbondale Finance Director Renae Gustine told trustees during their regular Tuesday night meeting.
“The local Carbondale economy continues to grow despite the continuing COVID pandemic, and 2021 was another strong year financially for the town,” Gustine and Interim Town Manager Kevin Schorzman wrote in the annual budget message. “Sales tax collections, the town’s major revenue source, have an estimated year-over-year increase of 21.6% to finish 2021.”
The town also received $866,905 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to assist in security- and infrastructure-related costs, the budget message notes.
Fund reserves remain strong, even though that balance is expected to drop next year, Gustine said.
Trustee Marty Silverstein pointed out that Carbondale managed to weather the impacts of COVID-19 better than a lot of local governments.
“We’re not being foolish with our money and have tried to keep a reasonable reserve,” he said, making the comparison, “If your car breaks down and you have to get a new part, it’s nice to have that reserve.”
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or email@example.com.
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