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Mayor's Brief
by Roger Tobler
Boulder City Mayor

Boulder City's Budget
Boulder City has been fortunate in that it has not had to eliminate a single municipal service during this economic decline. This has proved to be challenging, considering general fund revenues declined by about $1M (again) last year, when compared to the prior year.

For the first time in three budget cycles, the City’s general fund ending balance was greater than anticipated when the current year’s budget was adopted. This was no small undertaking because $800,000 of general fund revenue associated with a single solar lease never materialized. As a result, last year’s expense reduction plan not only reduced expenses by $2M, it protected general fund reserves which provided the City with a better foundation for this year.

Since it is still unknown whether or not $1.6M of a projected lease revenue will be received this year, the City has implemented a phased general fund expense reduction plan to offset a potential $1.6M shortfall in revenue.

Phase 1 was implemented on September 1st. It defers all capital purchases authorized in the budget, including two (much needed) rescue vehicles for the Fire Department, a backhoe, computers, printers and tools. Open positions will remain vacant unless it makes fiscal sense to fill them, and general expenses have been cut throughout all budgets.

Phase 2 of the general fund expense reduction plan will be implemented in October, if revenue shortfalls are still anticipated. The City Manager has recommended that Phase 2 cost reductions include a review and suspension of non-essential services. Should it be necessary to proceed with Phase 2, this will be a very difficult process because every program and/or service has its constituents. Although the City Council has continued to fund all recreation and administrative services in the past, it may not be possible to continue to provide each of these services this year.

The final phase may be needed if overall revenues are not in line with the budget projections. Phase 3 is likely to include a workforce reduction or layoffs in personnel, which would have a direct impact on the services the City provides. Factors, such as legislatives changes in the consolidated tax formula, a deeper double-dip recession or the termination of a single, large lease contract could trigger Phase 3.


Visit Roger at http://www.bcnv.org/CityCouncil/Tobler.asp.



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