The Buena Vista board of trustees wrapped up their business for 2019 Tuesday night, passing the town’s budget for 2020 and hearing year-end reports from department heads.
Here’s what happened:
1 Trustees passed a budget with expenditures across all funds totaling $9,148,133,88 with budgeted revenues totaling $8,964,031.84.
That $184,102.14 difference will be covered by the reserves and fund balances in each of the budget’s funds. It is required by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights for municipalities in Colorado to balance their budget.
The total projected expenditures for 2020 are less than what was budgeted for this year, $9,830,651.43, but more than what the town is projected to have actually spent, $8,927,680.60.
Projected town revenues through the end of December, 2019 are expected to total $10,252,660.76, yielding a total increase across all fund balances of $1,324,980.16, according to the budget prepared by town treasurer Michelle Stoke and approved unanimously by the board.
2 Airport manager Jack Wyles and operations specialist Chandra Swanson reported on the finances at Colorado’s longest high-altitude runway.
Swanson calculated that the airport’s revenue from sources other than fuel sales was $241,779, with 81 percent of that coming from testing and training done by military groups, aircraft developers and parachuters looking to take advantage of the airport’s high altitude.
Swanson also estimated that testing at the airport generated $376,177 in economic activity in town as the personnel involved purchased lodging and food.
She estimated that $18,000 were spent on groceries in 2019 by the engineers with Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland, who have been coming to BV for years to run high-altitude tests of the helicopter that the U.S. Department of Defense has selected to replace its Huey program.
“They love to eat,” Swanson said.
3 If recreational cannabis is going to be on Buena Vista ballots in 2020, it’ll be because citizens put it there through a petition.
At their last meeting, members of the board heard a report on recreational marijuana from Ascend Cannabis owner Scott Embree, along with a request that they consider allowing retail sales in 2020 or putting the question before voters on a ballot.
The board then decided to hold off on a decision until all members were present. At Tuesday’s meeting, all members were there, and agreed to continue holding off on a decision.
David Volpe said he didn’t see a need for the board to get involved with the question of retail cannabis again at this time.
However, the door is open for Embree or some other BV resident to begin a petition process to get the question on ballots.
Libby Fay suggested that the board prepare to put a related ballot question that would create an additional tax on retail sales in the event that such a petition was completed.