Good year for Frisco, under-spent on budget
FRISCO – Good snow, a full reservoir and summer weather all contributed to increased revenue for the Town of Frisco, which officials said was significantly higher than anticipated in 2006.In all, the town brought in about $7.3 million in the general fund and spent about $5.3 million. They under-spent on the approved budget by about $250,000.”It was a healthy year. … Staff and council should be commended for keeping under budget,” said Bonnie Moinet, finance director for the town. Generated revenue in the general fund that pays for the operations and management of the town, in part including public works, police, special events/ recreation, came mostly from sales tax which reflects economic success for local businesses. It was about $1 million more than expected.And while that income certainly made it a good year for Frisco, it doesn’t change the fact that the town needs to be looking for additional revenue sources to sustain the level of services currently offered into the future, said Town Manager Michael Penny. Also, with numbers adjusted for inflation, the sales tax revenue is just starting to creep back toward what it was from 1997 to 2002.In 2006, the total sales tax revenue was about $5.8 million, mostly funded by tourists. If it wasn’t for money spent by visitors, in the town that has a population of about 2,800 people, each man, woman and child would have had to spend about $52,000 to reach that sales tax revenue, Penny explained.”What that means is that we don’t pay for what we have,” he continued.For 2007, the anticipated revenue is about $6.8 million, with about 70 percent of that coming from sales tax and less than 2 percent from property tax.Based on revenue and expense projections that act as a guideline to look into the future, the town, which does not have outstanding debt, would need to bring in at least $4.5 million in additional revenue by 2011 if they didn’t cut services.”While the numbers are not real (because services would be cut to make the budget work), they are in the red,” Penny said. “The fact is we cannot do everything that’s on our historical wish list (of projects the community wants).”The town organized the list of services into three categories: core, desired and non-essential. That way, the community can decide what they feel is important verses cutting 10 percent across the board, Penny explained. The way it looks now, new revenue sources are necessary just to maintain core infrastructure in the future, he added.The town is at about 50 percent commercial build-out, mainly because of the 9.4 acre interstate parcel where Home Depot was proposed in 2005 and would have generated an additional $1 million annually for the town. It was voted down. One of the town council’s plans this year is to re-examine that property and its future that could potentially generate sales tax.Recently, Penny put together a presentation, “Living Within Our Means – Making Intentional Decisions,” about the town’s funds that he shared with the Economic Development Advisory Commission and plans to share with more groups of residents to educate them on Frisco’s situation.”We are reliant on sales tax,” Penny said.Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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