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The 2022 budget for the town of Buena Vista was approved by the board of trustees Dec. 14 at their final meeting of 2021. The finalized budget with preliminary actuals from 2021 includes these highlights:

In accordance with BVPD Chief Dean Morgan’s statement that the number of citations issued in 2021 roughly doubled that of 2020, the revenues collected from traffic fines were $49,704, up 101% from 2019 and 231% compared with 2020.

The 2022 budget for traffic fines is set at $24,000, roughly equal to the revenues collected in 2019. Town treasurer Michelle Stoke was uncertain of the precise reasoning behind this figure.

Despite the recent trash ordinance updates that are intended to impose harsher penalties on violators, revenues budgeted from fines unrelated to traffic remain modest.

Dog fines are budgeted at $400, and zoning and code related fines at $500.

“Code enforcement leans heavily on education of the code rather than citing citizens right away,” said Stoke.

The budget for town sales tax, which consistently exceeded budgeted figures throughout 2021, remains conservative for 2022 at $3,214,723. The preliminary actual town sales tax revenues reported for 2021 were $3,082,255.

“We budget conservative projections for revenue. We are projecting 3% growth over 2021 actual,” said Stoke.

Average annual growth of sales tax revenues from 2019 to 2021 was 16.1%.

“We budget conservatively because we would rather receive excess revenue over expenses than have more expenses than projected revenue,” she said.

Wages for town staffers were increased more modestly for 2022 than 2020 and 2021.

“We participate in the Colorado Municipal League’s wage and salary survey each year to compare our pay schedule to other towns similar to BV in order to remain competitive,” said Stoke. “We also consider the increase in the cost of living as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as the Colorado State Demographer’s office.”

Stoke said that other important spending by the town in 2022 will involve water treatment and police facilities.

“We are very excited about our water treatment plant project as well as the new police station. The details will appear in the online budget due to be published by the end of January,” she said. “The link to that will be on my treasurer’s Report each meeting beginning in February, so stay tuned.”

The grand total for all budgeted revenues and expenses in 2022 are $20,151,099 and $20,000,186 respectively, putting projected town finances in the black by over $150,000.

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