Councilors to vote on final budget for FY 2012-13
By Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
June 18, 2012
Town officials will have one last chance to make changes to the town’s proposed fiscal year 2012-13 budget before they vote on it this evening.
A public hearing will be held as part of the Town Council meeting scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. today.
Town Manager Bob McLaurin presented the recommended budget to the council May 11. Elected officials have discussed it and made changes through-out the past month.
The budget initially recommended a 1.7 percent increase of expenditures for next year’s general fund, which finances the town’s day-to-day operations. The recommended budget allots $14.2 million for the upcoming year, compared with an estimated $13.9 this year.
The proposed budget projects a 3 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the town. Although sales tax revenue has steadily grown since 2010, McLaurin said general fund revenues are similar to 2007 levels.
An updated version of total general fund expenditures for next year has not been calculated.
The public safety department, which constitutes the largest portion of the general fund at 38 percent, saw the most significant increase in the initial recommended budget, although money was removed from the communications center and the fire department.
Each of those departments had initially received $100,000 more than they did last year, the largest increase in funds for any public safety department. Officials removed $15,000 of the $100,000 increase to the communications center, which had requested more funds to hire extra staff and implement an employee training program.
According to agenda documentation for today’s meeting, the fire department and EMS will receive $700,000 rather than the requested $1 million. The fire department will spend $300,000 from its own reserve fund rather than request more money.
Overall, the public safety budget is at $5 million, rather than $5.3 million.
The planning department and town attorney are slated to receive more money than initially recommended.
Officials also added phase one of the construction of Wayne May Park to the budget, a $157,000 item. The project in east Jackson will begin next year only if county officials also decide to allocate money for it.
The recommended budget slashed requests for social services by 20 percent across the board, however, elected officials added money to select organizations, including The Learning Center and Van Vleck House.
View the budget online at www.ci.jackson.wy.us.