|Town starts budget talks|
|Written by Mark Lineberger|
|Wednesday, 11 May 2011 00:00|
The Camp Verde Town Council got an in-depth look at how the budget may be shaping up for the upcoming 2011-2012 fiscal year. The council is required to have a spending plan approved before the fiscal year starts Friday, July 1.
Town Manager Russ Martin presented a possible budget to the Town Council last week so the town’s elected leaders could begin rolling up their sleeves and start taking a hard look at what may have to be cut.
Primarily, the Town Council that depends largely on sales taxes to keep the lights on has to figure out how to handle decreased revenue while trying to maintain an adequate level of services that the community has come to expect.
Martin presented the council with a $5.9 million overall budget proposal.
“Moving forward, this budget will allow us to continue at the current operational level for the another three, possibly four, years while allowing the town to maintain an adequate reserve for operations,” Martin wrote in his budget report. “However, the growing capital needs of the community, including simple replacement of existing capital assets, creates a problem that must be addressed within the coming years.
According to Martin, some of the problems may be addressed with the creation of a new capital improvement plan for the town sometime this fall. Martin has also looked at proposed capital projects and suggested cuts to those he doesn’t feel are absolutely critical for Camp Verde.
Martin’s report shows that the budget for next year includes a $350,000 operational deficit that will need to be addressed, but keeps the town’s cash reserves at a healthy $1.7 million.
Despite the need to keep the purse strings tight, several town departments have goals and objectives for the coming fiscal year, goals that will take money to achieve.
The town manager’s office hopes to continue working on the purchase of an equipment yard on Industrial Drive, continue to support recent financial software upgrades and to come up with a plan to eventually construct a larger animal shelter to meet the town’s needs. Public works staff, in addition to working on the Industrial Drive project, wants to expand the entrance to town-owned park land off McCracken Lane.
The town’s human resources department hopes to continue employee training programs and come up with new recruitment and selection procedures for new local government hires.
Throughout the town, efforts will also continue to replace and upgrade hardware when needed.
The town’s maintenance staff also has some projects on the drawing board for the 2011-2012 budget, including building sidewalks, benches and drinking fountains at Butler Park, replacing some heating, ventilating and air conditioning units at town hall and reroofing the town gymnasium.
On the legal side, the town’s municipal court is hoping to cut down on expenses by trying to find a system so that when the court accepts credit card payments, it can transfer fees associated with accepting credit cards to the person paying.
There is much more in the works in the proposed budget, which weighs in at over 100 pages. The entire document is available online at cvaz.org.