Budget season is in full swing for local government entities, and Archuleta County is no different.
On Oct. 13, the Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners held a special meeting to hear a presentation from Archuleta County officials regarding the 2016 proposed budget.
“This meeting is about one thing and one thing only,” County Administrator Bentley Henderson said at the beginning of the meeting.
Before presenting the basics of the upcoming year’s budget, however, Henderson and Archuleta County Finance Director Larry Walton introduced the commissioners and audience to a forecasting tool the county has developed to help with long-term planning.
The purpose of the forecasting tool, which was shown for the county’s general fund, was stated in a PowerPoint presentation: “The decisions that we make today have impacts on the financial viability of the organization moving forward.”
Using a series of base information, the tool allows county finance personnel to plug in additional expenses (such as capital expenses for a new landfill cell or a courthouse, or an increase in personnel) and see how the expenses would affect unassigned fund revenues in the coming years.
However, Henderson cautioned that, while the tool is useful, there are a lot of different factors that would have to be included to better gauge the true effect of an expenditure, such as revenue fluctuations over time that may affect how the county’s funds are managed — a point Commissioner Michael Whiting made.