Talon News - Good Local News

By Jacque Ritchie
TALON 

CITY BUDGET ADOPTED, FALLS $4.4 MM

Aztec Commission Adopts FY19 Budget

 

August 17, 2018



Aztec Commission Adopts FY19 Budget

by Jacque Ritchie TALON

At the July 24 meeting, the Aztec City Commission unanimously voted to adopt 2018-1093 FY19 Annual Budget. The 140 page document created by Aztec Director of Finance Kathy Lamb, lists fiscal year (FY) 2018 revenues and expenditures as well as the 2019 proposed figures. Lamb told TALON that the document is incomplete in-as-much-as some FY2018 actual figures have not yet been compiled and a formal audit will not be available until January 2019. According to page 51 of the report, the independent audit, conducted by CRI out of Albuquerque, cost the city $43,000.

We at TALON appreciate that you, our loyal reader has a life and no time to decipher 140 pages of figures, so we did it for you...to the best of our ability given that no one currently on the TALON staff would admit to being a CPA. Okay, so here the break-down goes:

The FY18 budget proposed spending of $32,697,760. In FY2018 actual dollars spent in running the city reportedly totaled $17,516,333. According to Lamb when preparing a new FY budget the commission working along-side various departments will estimate high dollar amounts to prepare for anticipated projects. As a result the proposed budget numbers are typically much higher than actual dollars spent, just to give the city a little wiggle-room.

The FY19 budget proposes $28,252,568 in expenditures, or a $4,445,192 decrease in proposed spending.

According to the newly adopted budget in FY2018 the city generated $25,136,003 including transfers (Which include current and cash reserves carried over from past years) giving the city a whopping $7,619,670 surplus. So despite dire doom and gloom economic indicators it seems, as a small town we are in the black!

Among other revenue streams, the city generates money from taxes, for instance the cities 2018 gross receipts tax (GRT is a vendor tax paid by local businesses) garnered $2,115,676. Gas and oil production taxes chipped in $5,214 and paid $834 tax on equipment in FY2018. Reportedly the oil and gas industry also paid $500 for a section 16-295 permit. Lamb said that the oil and gas numbers have been dropping in recent years given the downturn in oil and gas production in the area.

Aztec property taxes, paid by land owners, reportedly totaled $609,200. Other taxes include franchise taxes which are taxes various entities pay to conduct business in Aztec, like the solid waste disposal company (WCA) who paid $6,394 and the cable TV provider, Comcast which contributed $51,827 to the city’s total revenue in 2018.

Other revenue comes from state and federal grants like the state funded Small Cities Assistance Grant $131,704. Another $50,000 NMFA MRA Plan Grant went to pay for services by Consensus Planning of Albuquerque for creating the proposed downtown re-development plan. The state also contributed a $98,903 grant to benefit the cities Agency on Aging. This money was used for vehicles and roof repair at the Aztec Senior Center/Community Center. The Community/Senior Center spent $309,980 in 2018 and is proposing $244,781 in expenditures for 2019, for a change in capitol outlay $65,199.

The Animal Shelter generated $18,302 in local fees and another $257,265 in shelter fees from San Juan County. Bloomfield does not have an animal shelter and paid Aztec $56,845 to house and spay/neuter their strays. Overflow from Bernalillo shelters netted Aztec $37,897 in fees. In total the Animal Shelter generated an $472,984 in revenue but spent $615,458, including $357,037 in personnel cost and $75,875 for drug and medical supplies leaving the shelter $142,474 in the red.

The city’s HUB small business incubator earned $14,970 in space rental in 2018 and cost $189,000, which includes the $135,000 building purchase price plus operating costs. Note: The HUB was not designed to be profitable in-of-itself but to encourage small business development which would ultimately lead to an increased GRT revenue.

Aztec MVD spent $180,064 reportedly $168,384 in salaries, while bringing in $173,953 transaction fees for only a $6,111 deficit. Lamb said, “self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal for the MVD.”

The Library collected $3,755 in late returns and damaged book fines. The city’s Library cost $290,170 to operate. Proposed 2019 Library expenditures are $304,048. Lamb pointed out that, “like our parks...” the Library is designed to increase Aztecan quality of life not generate revenue.

Aztec Municipal Court generated $285,987 in fines and reportedly cost only $212,423 to operate meaning a $73,564 profit.

Aztec Police Department brought in $27,960 in law enforcement grants and miscellaneous revenue. In 2018 APD cost $1,799,836 to keep our streets safe, including $65,422 for vehicles, $741,609 for full time sworn officers plus $76,564 for school resource officers. The FY2019 Budget proposes earmarking $2,001,900 for public safety expenditures.

For FY18 the four member Aztec Finance Department team were paid $242,574 in salaries that include a benefit package. The Finance Department also incurred another $229,868 in Supplies and Services fees.

Legal expenditures for the city include a reported $62,809 in payments to former City Attorney Larry Thrower. Thrower resigned in June in the wake of a controversial ‘hot mike’ comment made during the June 12 commission meeting. The newly adopted budget reports a $23,430 Administrative Charges Reimbursement resulting in Aztec FY2018 Legal Expenditures total of $40,108 cost to the General Fund. Proposed FY2019 Legal expenditures are $106,100, with a new City Attorney salary estimated to be $80,000 for 40 billable hours a month.

City Commission Expenditures total; $63,063 for the salaries including benefit packages and miscellaneous expenses for the five elected commissioners.

The city’s main money-maker is utilities. The Joint Utility Fund brought in a total of $10,144,081 in 2018 with an estimated $9,764,666 coming in 2019. Total electric revenues for 2018 totaled, $5,499,244, with an estimated 2019 electric sale amount of $5,434,500. In 2018 the Aztec Electric Company reportedly paid $830,032 in personel salaries. Electrical service and capital expenses added up to a total of $4,792,892, leaving $641,608 in profit. Water sales were $2,432,864 with a reported expenditures of $1,629,527 leaving a $803,337 surplus. Sewer fees brought in $2,159,705 while expenditures totaled $1,214,321 leaving a $945,384 profit.

To view the entire budget go to http://www.aztecnm.gov

 

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