Carson City Board of Supervisors takes up supplemental budget requests
The Board of Supervisors on Thursday took a first swipe at the tentative fiscal year 2019 budget for Carson City, focusing on supplemental budget requests from city departments, and the city’s capital improvement program.
Carson City’s general fund revenue is projected to increase 2.9 percent to $78.2 million while expenditures are expected to to drop by half a percent to $69.6 million. The board directed staff earlier to up the ending fund balance so the 2019 budget includes 8.7 percent, or just over $6 million, in reserves.
Total revenue is projected to be $156.4 million and total expenses $154 million.
The board looked at $1.8 million in supplemental requests to department budgets, including money for a new deputy district attorney for the District Attorney’s office; a youth advisor for Juvenile Services; a parks maintenance worker and part-time clerical position for Parks, Recreation, and Open Space; and a deputy director, water manager, and geographic information systems (GIS) specialist for Public Works.
“We had a deputy director and it went away for the sake of the recession with the understanding it would never go away forever,” said Darren Schulz, director, Public Works.
Schulz also said he was trying to create a standalone division to oversee the water system so as part of a reorganization of the department he wants to split the current utility manager position between two jobs, one to manage water and another to manage waste water operations. The current utility manager, David Bruketta, is leaving to work as utility manager for Lyon County.
Schulz agreed to work with the Assessor’s office after Supervisor Lori Bagwell asked if the two departments could share the GIS specialist already working for the Assessor.
And there was discussion of promoting a senior transportation planner to a principal transportation manager position, but that was postponed to a future meeting as some of the human resources procedures are still being worked out.
In the end, the board approved the tentative budget with several changes to the supplemental requests, including a $25,000 reduction in the DAs office contracting to help pay for the new position, a $2,000 reduction in Parks and Rec’s contracting, and $110,000 to help pay for a $230,000 project to replace all the technical equipment in the Community Center’s Sierra Room, where all board and most committee meetings are held, broadcast, and recorded.
The vote was 3-1, with Supervisor John Barrette voting no and Supervisor Brad Bonkowski absent.
During the item, there was discussion of dedicating some portion of the V&T special infrastructure fund to roads maintenance. The fund, based on one-eighth of a percent of the sales tax, generates about $1.3 million more than needed to service the debt on bonds, which is why it was set up. The fund does allow the money to be spent on certain other things, including streets, but the board will need to pass an ordinance changing the plan of expenditure in order to move the money to roads so Barrette said he would vote yes on the final budget once money for roads was guaranteed.
The board votes on the final budget at a special meeting on May 21.
The supervisors also approved the initial capital improvement program with some changes, including the addition of a ladder truck and a fire truck, and a mobile transport vehicle.
The 2019 $5.6 million capital improvement program includes new enterprise resource planning software costing $1.2 million, $300,000 to replace playground equipment, and $690,000 for heavy equipment replacement at the city landfill.
Speciality funds also spend on capital improvements. The water fund, for example, is spending $3.5 million, including $1 million on the east-west transmission main, and a $7.3 million program covered by the sewer fund, which is spending $3.2 million on the second phase of reconstruction at the Water Resource Recovery Facility.