City starts budget process

City starts budget process

ROCK SPRINGS – Although the fiscal year is still several months down the road, the city of Rock Springs has started the early stages of this year’s budget.

On Jan. 24, the city started the process by putting out requests to outside agencies. These agencies, which include the Community Fine Arts Center, Red Desert Roundup Rodeo and the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce are part of the city’s standard list. These requests should be making their way back to the city in the upcoming weeks according to City Director of Administration and Finances Lisa Tarufelli.

The Rock Springs CIty Council is also starting to take a look at developing its priority list. Tarufelli said the the department sheets should be going out the next couple of weeks. Then in the third week of March, the Rock Springs Budget Committee, made up of Tarufelli, Budget Chairman David Tate and Rock Springs Mayor Carl Demshar will sit down and look at the numbers and the requests. During these sit downs, the committee will meet with the department heads to go over each request.

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The timeline then moves to the first two weeks in April when the city will have its public budget workshop meetings. Tarufelli said they are very tentatively scheduled for April 8-9 right now.

The city will then approve the budget at the May 6 council meeting and should adopt the budget on June 17.

So what do the numbers currently look like?

Tarufelli said the sales tax has been hard to get a handle on this year because it has been very “up and down.” Currently the sales tax is a little behind last year but she said they should get a better idea when they receive the February numbers which have the final December numbers.

Last year, the city received just under $2 million from the state. The city will not know if that will increase, stay the same or decrease until the budget session is finalized.

Tarufelli said overall, the budget looks flat or similar to last years so far. Again she explained the sales tax is the biggest revenue stream for the city and are waiting to see where it may finally come in at. Even the eight mills which comes from the county brings in approximately $2 million to a $35 million dollar budget.

Mayor Demshar has often used the term ‘maintenance budget’ and Tarufelli said the city will probably hear that term again this year. She said at this point they will probably be conservative again and budget at last year’s levels.