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December 4, 2012
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New town master plan and road work top Kremmling's budget

KREMMLING - Money set aside for a new town master plan and work on the town's streets are the major expenditures in Kremmling's 2013 draft budget

As much as $70,000, with hope for financial assistance for community planning, is earmarked for updating the town's master plan, zoning ordinances, a downtown plan and other studies, according to the budget draft. Much of the cost is associated with hiring a professional city planning consultant "who serves as a data gatherer, a facilitator of local public opinion, and one who can assist in gathering costs for providing the town with the cost figures necessary to upgrade public facilities," according to a memo about the budget prepared by interim town manager Dick Blodgett.

The town's master plan is 30 years old and needs updating in order for the town to move forward on various projects, such as updating its zoning codes, he said.

"It's a big agenda, but it all needs to be done," Blodgett said.

Concerning the town's streets, which need repair following the town's installation of the water distribution system, as much as $500,000 is proposed to match a Department of Local Affairs grant. According to Blodgett's memo, "This will provide for the repair of a good proportion of the streets disturbed when the water mains were replaced." The town's match would come from reserves in the general fund as well as the water fund.

Also proposed for highways and streets are funds for a part-time employee shared with the sanitation department, as well as funds for street crossing signs to help protect pedestrians crossing the highway through town, cones and barricades and $15,000 in capital outlay for financing a skid steer vehicle.

The draft budget also shows the town's attempt to acquire Great Outdoors Colorado Lottery funds to help pay for new boards and safety glass at the ice rink as well as money for a unisex restroom at the kiddie park.

Town officials tentatively have answered a $15,000 request from the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce in the 2013 budget to fund a part-time position. The chamber needs someone to be at the visitors center while the director is out of the office on business in the town, Blodgett said.

All employees of the town of Kremmling may be getting a cost of living payroll increase of about 1.41 percent, according to the 2013 draft budget. And three department heads - the town clerk, police chief and public works director - may receive payroll increases of $5,000 each "in an attempt to bring their pay level halfway up to the median entry level of pay for their positions," according to Blodgett.

Although the 2013 budget line item of "town fireworks" shows a zero in expenditures, there still will be a fireworks display. The ban on fireworks in the 2012 season meant a $7,000 credit to the town for 2013.

No rate increases are being proposed to help offset costs in the water enterprise fund at this time. In the water plant division of the fund, the 2013 budget shows $45,000 for repairs to the plant and $50,000 in capital outlay for a new emergency power generator. "It is hoped that federal emergency management funds will become available to provide for the generator," Blodgett wrote in his memo.

Although property tax revenues to the town decreased by about $33,600 in 2012, the town expects to see property tax income level off. The town is also optimistic its sales tax income will slightly increase in 2013.

"There may be some indications that we are turning the corner of our very serious economic difficulties," Blodgett told board members in his memo, "but we are still budgeting very conservatively as it is truly too early to tell."

Town trustees are scheduled to vote on the budget at their Wednesday, Dec. 5, meeting.


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The Sky-Hi News Updated Dec 5, 2012 11:04AM Published Dec 4, 2012 07:22PM Copyright 2012 The Sky-Hi News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.