Dillon adopts 2005 budget | SummitDaily.com

Dillon adopts 2005 budget

Special to the DailyWhere does the $ Come From?

DILLON – Dillon elected officials on Tuesday passed a $6.49 million budget for 2005 that projects a 3 percent increase in spending from 2004.Expenditures are expected to reach $6.61 million, with 39 percent of that going toward salaries and benefits for town employees.The remainder of the money will pay for capital projects, debt payments and operating expenses.Some of the project highlights for 2005 are:

— The conversion of two part-time positions to full-time to alleviate overtime during the town’s summertime BBQ at the Summit event. One of the positions is in the Events and Marketing Department and the other in Public Works. The town will also award 3 percent merit increases to employees. — In the capital improvement fund, most of the $1.1 million will be directed toward street and park improvements. Some of the projects include reconstructing the town hall parking lot and adding additional parking spaces, resurfacing the recreation path between Robert’s Tunnel Road and Tenderfoot Street, and purchasing a new street sweeper.– In the water fund, the town hopes to replace the water main that supplies water to the Old Town Hall, Qwest and D & L Printing, as well as install additional security devices at the water plant and on storage tanks.– The sewer fund will be used to repair a damaged joint in the sewer main that carries most of the town’s sewer flows along Highway 6.

— Ramp extensions and improvements to the crane at the marina and the completion of a marina master plan are in the works for the marina fund.The town council has also identified a list of unfunded projects, which is a wish list of projects to undertake as the money becomes available.Some of those include constructing a miniature golf course, installing a town park restroom and reconstructing County Road 51 and a portion of Highway 6 from Lake Dillon Drive to the North Dam Road.Revenues are expected to be $6.49 million, in addition to the $2.89 million beginning balance carried over from 2004.

The town will continue to earn the majority of its money from the town’s sales tax, a volatile, but realistic source of revenue, said town manager Jack Benson.”In a good economic year, it’s a good source of revenue. In a bad year, we have to scramble to pay the bills,” Benson said.The sales tax continues to be the most popular source of revenue because the responsibility of supporting the town is spread among residents and tourists, Benson said.Benson said the town council has discussed implementing a street utility fee, which would take away some of the dependence on sales tax, at least for street improvements, but, so far, the council has been reluctant to move forward with the idea.

Other revenue comes from utilities fees, the marina and small amounts from the property and lodging taxes.For the first year, the Dillon budget is projected on a two-year cycle in order to give staff a year of reprieve to better focus on their jobs. The council will still review and adopt the budget on a yearly basis.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 229 or at nformosa@summitdaily.com.

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