Here are three things to take away from the Oct. 8 meeting of the Buena Vista board of trustees:
1 Trustees opened the book – and set public hearings at each of their scheduled meetings from now until Dec. 10 – on the 2020 budget for the town.
Next Year’s budget projects $4.28 million in expenditures against $4.5 million in revenue, in the general fund, primarily coming from sales tax.
Additionally, the town is expecting over $1 million in capital improvement expenditures against $959,047 of revenue in that fund, which also draws from the town’s fund of general operating expenses as well as capital funding grants.
The town will go into the Twenties with a fund balance of $1.73 million in the general fund and 144,244 in the capital improvement fund.
The town is preparing to make some large investments in 2020 that staff say are long overdue
Plans include adding two firefighters to the current three-man permanent staff at the Buena Vista Fire Department, a new patrol officer for the police department, a Parks and Recreation maintenance technician and new police vehicles, among other expenditures.
The staff is also looking to fund the Sunset Vista park and trail and the Arizona Bridge trail in 2020 and continue maintenance on its whitewater park and the runway at the Central Colorado Regional Airport
The board is also looking in to bringing forward a measure to increase taxes to help fund capital improvement projects in the future.
The details of that tax hike have not been finalized yet, but it would likely affect sales tax rates, and would need to be approved by voters before going into effect.
During the coming public hearings, trustees will go through the budget line-item by line-item, raising any questions or concerns they may have.
It’s page-turning excitement for municipal government fans of all ages.
2 The board received an update that the BV Recreation department would be increasing some of the fees associated with renting town facilities like its parks or the rooms at the community center.
Recreation director Earl Richmond said that research into the rates that comparable mountain towns charge revealed that BV’s rates are far lower than the average and that revenue often does not recoup the staff time that goes into preparing a space for rental.
In one example, BV Rec charges $5 to rent Columbine Park for a 4 hours. The town of Crested Butte charges twice that to rent out Rainbow Park for the same amount of time.
Leadville rents out its parks for $80 for 4 hours.
Breckenridge charges $714 to rent out Kingdom Park Field for 4 hours.
3 Trustees unanimously agreed to a proposal given by Ascend Cannabis owner Scott Embree in public comment to give a presentation to the board on the benefits of allowing recreational marijuana in the town.
The board agreed to seek out a time when Embree could come speak to the board during a work session.