2018 budget set for Friday approval

John Scarffe, Gilpin County.  Gilpin County Finance Director Clorinda Smith introduced the County’s 2018 budget during a regular meeting of the Gilpin County Board of County Commissioners at 9 a.m. on December 5, 2017, at the Central City Hall. The Gilpin County Courthouse, the Board’s usual meeting place, is under renovation.


The Board also approved the 2017 supplemental budget and the outright purchase of a Public Works truck. Smith told the Board she has presented a new draft of the budget, labeled third draft, because she made a few changes after the last meeting.


Also, a couple of things will happen between now and December 15, when the Board will have the final budget, Smith said. They are keeping the general fund balance basically the same, at $13.5 million, which is very similar to 2017.


The fund balance in the 2018 budget totals $13,624,946, according to the budget summary. The 2017 fund balance budgeted $14.5 million and estimated for the end of the year is $15.8 million.


“We’re at $13.6 and last year at $13.9,” Smith said. “We have big projects we want to do. My cash flow comfort level is probably around $6 million.”
Board Chair Gail Watson said that the batt removal for the courthouse has not happened. Is it in the budget? Smith said it is on list, and she wants to move it into 2018 if the bid is not out yet.


Watson said the $3,000 for Dispatch computer hardware and software was not in the first round. She also pointed out the Parks and Recreation gym floor covering is now $15,000 instead of $900. Smith said those have been added and changed. Parks and Recreation Director Alan Smith will be giving the Board an update on the pool liner project.


Commissioner Ron Engels asked about additional budgeting for the courthouse project. “Did we decrease what was in the budget to meet the actual quotes?”


Smith said that $370,000 was the total amount, so she did not reduce that. Engels said they will probably have $30,000 savings in paint and can allocate that for some other things.


What furniture and floor mats are we going to need, and how many? Engels asked. “I’d like us to authorize staff to come up with what are those extra needs.”


Watson said: “I’m totally with you.” She mentioned the asbestos in the ceiling of the basement. “We may have an issue that may increase mediation. They sprayed asbestos on the ceiling. They are testing that now.


“Let’s leave the budget as is in case that happens and increase it by $30,000 for additional furniture and carpet runners,” Watson said. Engels said that picking a number would be grabbing something out of the air. Their estimates had contingency built into the lower number.


“If we have $30,000 in extra paint money, that would give us the $30,000 cushion and we can come back with a supplemental next year. The direction to staff is to get back to us on how much it will cost,” Engels said.


County Manager Leslie Klusmire said they should have the results on the asbestos in a couple of days. Human Services Director Betty Donovan had proposed a third case worker, but she doesn’t have enough work, so will drop the third case worker.


The Board will see the final budget for approval during a special meeting at 9 a.m. Friday, December 15, 2017. The Board considered the supplemental appropriations to the 2017 budget.


The sum of $232,635 will be supplemented as an additional expenditure to the General Fund for grants, cemetery fencing, website redesign, a Treasurer maintenance contract, county courthouse renovations, jail operating, medical and a Community Service Officer position, use of assigned funds for Timberline Fire Protection District and capital outlay; $11,443 from grant revenue, $21,250 from sales of assets and $199,942 from the fund balance, according to the resolution.


The sum of $2,150 will be added to the Public Health Fund for operating expenses and $5,150 will be added to the Solid Waste Fund for capital outlay from the fund balance.


Smith told the Board that they have $240,000 to add to the expenses from the 2017 budget, and the Board approved the supplemental budget. Smith also requested the outright purchase of a truck for Public Works.


Smith said the 2017 budget has a capital lease purchase for a truck in the Public Works budget. It would be better to purchase it and pay cash instead of a lease. “Doing this will reduce the County’s fund balance sooner, save administration time and save approximately $19,500 in lease interest expense.”


Watson said it sounds like the best thing to do, and the Board approved the purchase.


(Originally published in the December 14, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)