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County considers first quarter financials

With the summer season fast approaching, the first quarter financials for Archuleta County have been released and show the county at or below expected revenues and expenditures.

Following is information for selected funds through the year’s first three months, many compared with the same period in 2009.

General fund

In the general fund, revenues made up 27 percent of the amount budgeted for 2010 and have increased 13 percent, or $300,539, compared to the same time in 2009.

Revenues exceeded expenditures by a greater margin than in 2009, exceeding by $702,743 in 2010 ($500,589 in 2009).

Property tax revenues for the general fund were at 42 percent of the expected amount for 2010 and were up 7 percent compared to 2009.

Sales tax revenue, with a two-month lag between when it is earned and when it is reported, was at 7 percent of the budgeted amount, down 11 percent compared to 2009.

Building permit revenues earned in the first quarter decreased 38 percent from 2009, with only 13 percent of the budgeted amount collected.

Archuleta County Finance Director Diane Sorensen said the county expected building permit revenues to decrease 9 percent from 2009, noting that the revenues had decreased more than expected.

Expenditures were up 5 percent compared to 2009, but rang in at only 21 percent of the 2010 budgeted amount.

The increase in expenditures was due to a fund transfer to the airport that was executed one month earlier than it was in 2009, Sorensen said. Otherwise, Sorensen said the general fund expenditures would have decreased 2 percent.

1A fund

Overall, revenues in the 1A fund overreached expenditures by $499,884. For the same time period in 2009, revenues exceeded expenditures by $341,373.

Up 25 percent over 2009, revenues for the fund rang in at 36 percent of the 2010 budget.

Expenditures decreased 59 percent ($52,148) compared to 2009, and are at 9 percent of this year’s budget.

The large decrease in 1A fund expenditures was due to department heads and other staff being asked to hold off on large expenditures, except for operating expenses, through the first quarter in order to help county cash flow until property tax collections began, Sorensen explained.

Road and Bridge fund

In the Road and Bridge fund, revenues exceeded expenditures by $67,663. In 2009, expenditures exceeded revenues, leaving the fund down $5,675 in the first quarter.

Revenues increased 21.5 percent over 2009, finishing at 25 percent of revenue projections for 2010.

Highway Users Tax revenue came in at 23 percent of the 2010 budget, at an increase of 58.5 percent ($110,411) compared to 2009.

The increase was due to the FASTER (Funding Advancements for Surface Transportation and Economic Recovery) allocations, Sorensen said.

FASTER was signed into law in March 2009 and increased and created fees, fines and surcharges to generate increased revenues for transportation improvements statewide.

Expenditures increased 6 percent over 2009 due to the HUTF revenue being allocated to the town a month earlier than it was in 2009.

Road Capital Improvement fund

In the RCI fund, revenues exceeded expenditures by $72,055. In the first quarter in 2009, expenditures overreached revenues by $479,792.

While expenses have been reduced thus far in 2010 by 95 percent ($575,180) and were at 1 percent of the 2010 budget, revenues have decreased as well, down 18 percent compared to 2009.

The drastic change in expenditures is due to the lack of major projects started in the first quarter in 2010. In 2009, a building project was taking place in Arboles, while the Juanita bridge project was also underway.

“It’s just the timing of the projects,” Sorensen said.

Total revenues for the fund are at 6 percent of the current year’s budget.

The revenue decrease is directly related to the decrease in sales tax revenue, Sorensen said.

Solid waste fund

In the solid waste fund, expenditures exceeded revenues, leaving the fund down $27,837. The overage is greater than in 2009, when expenditures were greater than revenues by $16,570.

Revenues for the fund also saw a 39 percent decrease through the first quarter, and sit at 12 percent of the total 2010 budget.

At the May 18 Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting, Sorensen said the fund’s status is worrisome and is closely being monitored. In addition, a solid waste employee has been transferred to the road and bridge department for the summer.

Expenditures in the fund are down 26 percent compared to 2009, at 20 percent of the 2010 budget.