Grand Lake approves 2016 budget
With 2015 drawing to a close municipalities throughout the state spent the month of December performing a number of perfunctory actions from passing resolutions levying property taxes to ordinances setting fee schedules. The Grand Lake Board of Trustees had their own year-end house cleaning session during their last official meeting of the year. During that meeting the Board approved the town's 2016 budget. Board members and town officials have been developing the budget for some time now and have been conducting budget work sessions for several months. For 2016 Grand Lake's General Fund will begin the year with a leftover fund balance of $1,201,623. The leftover fund balance represents the amount of money remaining in the Town's General Fund at the end of 2015. Grand Lake Town Treasurer Erin Ackerman has budgeted $2,641,747 in revenues for 2016 with the town expected to take in approximately $1,702,900 in General revenue and $938,847 in Capital revenue, or revenue that can be attributed to specific capital expenses. For 2016 Grand Lake is projecting General Fund expenditures totaling $2,873,125. After taking in account both the projected revenues for 2016 and the 2015 General Fund ending fund balance Grand Lake expects to end 2016 with a General Fund balance of $970,244. Budgets for municipalities are developed a year in advance and many of the specific figures within the budget are projections or estimates that can and do change over the course of the year. The projections are based on a number of factors including the future economic outlook and ending tallies from previous years. Grand Lake collects taxes and has expenditures through the end of December every year. Similarly the town has a two-month time frame between the end of any given month and when official figures on revenues and expenditures for that month become available. The budget presented to the Board during the December Trustees' meeting includes projections for 2016 and 2015 year-end totals. The 2015 year-end totals use estimates on expenditures and revenues for November and December. Grand Lake further breaks down their General Fund expenditures by the various departments within town government. The department with the single largest budget is the Grand Lake Public Works Dept. with a total 2016 budget of $577,321. Of the total for the dept. $342,271 is applied to personnel costs while $235,050 is designated for operations. The town's Administrative department has the second highest departmental budget with a total of $553,818, of which $294,709 is for personnel costs while $259,109 is for operational costs. The Public Safety department. had the next highest budget for 2016, though the totals for that department, $193,840, are significantly lower than the totals for both Administration and Public Works. The Parks department. has a 2016 budget total of $119,102 broken down between $48,402 for personnel and $70,700 for operations. The Town has projected a total cost of $90,787 for the Board of Trustees with the entirety of that budget designated as operational costs. The Greenway Committee has a total projected budget of $41,197. The Town's remaining departments; Cemetery Committee, Post Committee and the Planning Commission/BOA, each had projected budgets less than $10,000 with the Post Committee having a projected budget of zero. Grand Lake has projected $130,007 in debt service payments in 2016. The town is projecting $113,961 in debt service payments on Administrative work and $16,046 in debt service for public works projects. The town also sets aside a Tabor Reserve Fund which is set at three percent of the overall General Fund, or $57,566. Grand Lake's 2016 budget is a part of the public record.