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County finances show strength

With three quarters of the year in the bag, Archuleta County looks to be ahead of its budget in both revenues and expenditures, with the exception of still-declining Solid Waste Landfill Fund revenues.

In all funds, revenues and expenditures are expected to be at 75 percent of the 2010 budget.

In the General Fund, which includes the Airport Fund, total revenues have increased 12 percent over 2009 and are at 93 percent of the budget (property tax revenues are collected in the first part of the year, but are spent throughout the year).

Serving as the largest increase in revenue, because of an increase in assessed valuations, property tax revenues increased 20 percent over 2009.

The revenues sit at 111 percent of the 2010 budget because county staff intentionally failed to budget the complete amount expected for 2010, said Finance Director Diane Sorensen.

Sales tax revenue is also up significantly following an audit by the State of Colorado that found that the county was underpaid by about $1 million, a revenue that is split between the General Fund and Road Capital Improvements in the Road and Bridge Fund.

Because of the increases in property tax and sales tax revenues, treasurer’s fees have increased by $143,000 (25 percent) over 2009.

Fleet revenues have also increased 29 percent ($125,500) over 2009 — something that can be explained by the increase in repairs and maintenance of county vehicles, according to Sorensen’s financials memo. This is an intercounty charge and payment process: vehicle repairs required by a county department are charged by and paid to the Fleet fund.

Thus far this year, overall revenues have exceeded expenditures by $3.2 million, though the number will even out more as expenses are incurred throughout the remainder of the year (property tax revenues are collected in the first half of the year).

Expenditures, on the other hand, are below budget, at 65 percent of the 2010 budget — a decrease of about 11 percent ($940,000) from 2009 expenditures.

Sorensen and County Administrator Greg Schulte said in a meeting last week that, while a fourth-quarter expenditures jump is inevitable, the fund is still anticipated to come in under budget.

In the Road and Bridge Fund, which includes Road Capital Improvement and 1A Roads money, expenditures have exceeded revenues by about $200,000.

Though currently exceeded by expenditures, revenues in the fund are at 77 percent of the year’s expected amount. They have decreased 17 percent from 2009, a year in which RCI grants were received by the county.

Operating revenues, without capital grants, have increased 4 percent ($192,700) over 2009, due to unanticipated RCI sales tax revenue resulting from an audit conducted by the state Department of Revenue.

Thus far on the year, expenditures in the fund have declined 41 percent from 2009, a decrease set against capital projects in 2009. It should be noted, however, that the final billing for this year’s paving projects and the final magnesium chloride application are not figured into the amount.

Operating expenditures, without the projects, has decreased by $1.2 million or 24 percent.

The Solid Waste Landfill Fund continues in the red, with expenses exceeding revenues by $4,700.

Revenues are down $56,000 or 13 percent from 2009 and are at about 63 percent of 2010’s budgeted amount because of a decrease in fees collected.

Although revenues feeding the fund continue to fall, expenses are also lessening as the county attempts to alleviate the damage to the fund. Expenses sit at 63 percent of the 2010 budget, 38 percent ($233,300) lower than in 2009.

“Boy, that’s a big change,” said Commissioner Bob Moomaw upon hearing the brightening status of the fund last week. “That’s really good.”

randi@pagosasun.com