|Our revenues have dropped significantly, from our consolidated taxes to our golf course revenues. Income from royalties and fees have dropped as well. The last two years we have cut expenses to offset declining revenues. Last year and this year we have also asked our employees to give up their cost of living increases. This is understandable in the current economic downturn. All our employees, except the electrical unit, have agreed to no cost of living increases and capping the insurance allowance or uniform allowance. We appreciate their willingness to work with us to reduce our expenses during difficult times. The City Council, in the first meeting in June, approved the amendment to the budget which set forth these changes with our city employees, and made it possible to avoid layoffs. Without this amendment, we would have laid off two police officers, one fireman, and 4 city employees in other areas.
Even with our reductions, we may still have difficult times ahead. Lease revenue from our energy zone really has helped reduce the impact of this recession. However, the City is waiting on lease revenue from one particular lessee. If this lessee does not make its payment, then our budget situation will require more reductions. The lease has been approved and the lessee is waiting for financing. If the lessee’s financing does not come through, then the City Council will have to reduce our current budget by one million dollars and next year’s budget by $1.5 million dollars. We have not taken the “wait and see” approach to this potential problem. Two other possible leases are being pursued.
Fortunately for Boulder City, our budgets have not been dependant on steady growth. We have made the needed adjustments and more may occur. We will do our best to utilize our revenue most effectively. Hopefully, we will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we see our economy turn around, it will be important that those serving on City Council take the approach to restore our reserve funds and essential services.
Visit Roger at http://www.bcnv.org/CityCouncil/Tobler.asp.