GREEN RIVER — The Green River City Council unanimously approved the city’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget during its meeting Tuesday night.
The estimated beginning fund balance as of July 1, 2022 for the city is $33.5 million. With estimated revenues of $19.5 million, the total available funds is estimated to be about $53 million. Expenditures are estimated to be about $23.9 million and restricted or designated reserves totals $23.4 million. This leaves an estimated ending fund balance as of June 30, 2023 of $5.7 million.
“This is probably the least lean budget that we’ve put together in the last five years,” City Clerk Chris Meats said.
Meats said revenues are a bit higher than expenditures this year due to one-time funding such as American Rescue Plan Act funds. However, he said the extra funds were not cause for a looser budget, as finances are still tight.
“As far as a deficit, the city is sitting in the best place we’ve been sitting in probably the last five years, to be truthful. Especially since about 2014,” Meats said. “That doesn’t mean that we haven’t been very frugal and tight with the next year’s budget.”
He added that the city is looking at between a $500,000 and $700,000 carryover this year.
“Our departments have been withholding on spending as much as they can and we budget, not quite for the worst case scenario, but we budget to make it to where everybody isn’t pinching every penny in case an emergency comes up,” he said.
Meats said that depending on how the specific purpose tax ballot initiative goes, that could impact how the city builds the budget next year.
City Administrator Reed Clevenger said balancing the budget continues to be a challenge, and that inflation poses complications.
“The budget continues to be a challenge, especially in these times. We are looking forward to seeing some improvements and we’re starting to see a little bit, but then again, we have some inflationary aspects that we just can’t keep on top of,” Clevenger said.
However, Councilman Robert Berg said this year was the “easiest” budget he’s helped balance since he’s been on the Council.
“This was the easiest year I have had, and it’s not due to complacency by any means at all. It has to do with the fact that we’re finally getting good at all the cuts we’re having to make and where we can stretch a dollar and things like that,” Berg said.
Councilman Gary Killpack said in 2019-2020, the city’s revenue dropped 24.04 percent, and in 2021 it only went up 3.3 percent. Mayor Pete Rust pointed out that 24 percent is about one quarter of the revenue.
“If you have one quarter of your budget decrease in your home, that dramatically affects how you live. That’s what we’re dealing with here… major major cuts, and during that time we maintained our services in the city,” Rust said.
For a closer look at the FY 2023 budget, broken down by department, see below.