Proposed 2020 budget to be approved by town board Dec. 10

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

This report is a follow-up to the Berthoud Board of Trustees report of the board meeting held on November 19, 2019. As noted in the article which appeared in the November 21, 2019 edition of the Surveyor, Town Administrator Chris Kirk presented the second draft of the proposed 2020 to the trustees the first draft having been presented at a board meeting held on October 8, 2019.

An information sheet provided by town staff which addressed the Nov. 19 budget overview states:

(The preliminary 2020 budget) “has been refined by town staff to better outline proposed increases in personnel and related expenses, major equipment purchases, and capital project expenses.  Additionally, revenue forecasts have been updated to reflect more recent data.

With that in mind, we are pleased to present the preliminary budget for fiscal year 2020. It is expected that another budget study session will be scheduled on Dec. 3 to review any changes made on Nov. 19, and that budget adoption will occur on Dec. 10 at the regular Board meeting.

This budget is a policy document that should identify the priorities of the town with respect to the services we provide. It reflects months of work by town staff to balance resources with the needs of the town and the priorities articulated by the (town) board.  In addition to the preliminary 2020 budget, our town staff has attempted to forecast expenses related to personnel, fixed assets, and capital needs for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. These forecasts are based on research, experience, and good judgment.  

What is important to note is that the town is in good fiscal health. With projected revenues and reserves, the town can continue funding all our existing services and increase services in our parks, community development, administrative, police and public works departments.  We can also perform needed road maintenance, replace and enhance sidewalks, and construct major new capital assets such as a public works service center, multiple large parks, new trails, a recreation center, and aquatic facility.”

The following were mentioned in the information sheet:

In general, the staff has provided expense forecasts by:

Identifying major planned expenses in capital improvement and capital replacement plans.

Including financial impacts of known projects and policy changes already initiated by the Board. Multiplying current and historical budget numbers by a conservative percentage increase using research, experience, and good judgment.

This approach serves the town well in periods of steady growth. In addition to this approach, department heads considered personnel needs under three different scenarios:

Continued steady residential and business growth consistent with the past three years.

A sizable increase in residential and business growth. 

A significant decrease in residential and business growth.

The following “laundry list” of items will be expenditures by the town in coming years, most of which were mentioned by Kirk:

– Continued road maintenance expenditures between $750,000 to $900,000 per year.

– Sidewalk construction and repair totaling $150,000 annually.

– The widening of Berthoud Pkwy between Larimer County Road (LCR) 14 and Highway 287.

– Construction of trails within the Heron Lakes open space areas totaling over $600,000.

– Process improvements at the raw water treatment plant totaling $400,000.

– The extension of Spartan Avenue across the railroad right-of-way, connecting to Nebraska Avenue.

– The widening of the bridge on LCR 10E to allow pedestrian and bicycle access.

– The purchase of two new major open space properties.

– $10,000,000 of new raw water purchases.         

– The construction of a public works service center.  

– The opening of the Berthoud Reservoir Open Space Park. 

– An overhaul of the town’s existing comprehensive plan and land use plan to include principles of new     

   urbanism and form-based design in the amount of $225,000.

 – Updates to the Town’s Water Master Plans totaling $125,000.

–  Updating the town’s pavement maintenance Plan.                       

–  The addition of several vehicles to the town’s fleet, new dump trucks, snow removal equipment, field   

    maintenance equipment and park maintenance equipment.

–   Additional Sherriff Deputy positions to improve coverage and increase supervisory capacity.

–   Nine additional full-time staff members spread across eight different departments.

–  Twenty-Six additional part-time employees spread across four different departments.

–  The construction of the Waggener Farm Park and recreation center totaling approximately  

    $31,000,000 in expense.

Kirk also led the trustees through the financial status of the various funds, all of which are on solid financial footing. The cemetery fund is the only fund which will require intervention by the board in the foreseeable future.

Following Kirk’s presentation the trustees voiced approval of the proposed draft budget and passed a resolution to have town staff bring the budget back to the board on Dec. 3, 2019 when the 2020 budget will receive final adjustment and be prepared for passage at the regular meeting of Dec. 10, 2019.

The trustees appointed individuals to fill vacancies on two committees. Elijah Kraljic, Maggie Langer and Anna Thormodsgard were appointed to the Youth Advisory Committee.

Nicola Edwards, Kathy Karpiel and Helen Scavone are appointed to the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee.

Tim Grover was appointed to the Parks, Open Space Recreation and Trails (PORT) Advisory Committee.

All seats are filled on the Youth Advisory Committee and the PORT Advisory Committee. Two seats remain vacant on the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee and the Tree Advisory Committee.

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