ROCK SPRINGS — A lot of dedication and hard work went into putting the $35.4 million budget together for the City of Rock Springs, but it was completed and approved this week.
On Tuesday, the Rock Springs City Council unanimously approved the $35.4 million fiscal year 2020-2021 budget. While the council didn’t have much discussion on the budget approval during the meeting, the process was a tough one for the city.
“It’s a very tight budget,” Director of Administrative Services Matthew McBurnett said in an interview.
Over the past two years, the city worked hard to cut between $6-$7 million from its budget in order to have a balanced budget this year. A lot of work was put in by the budget committee, the mayor, and the department heads to get the budget where it needed to be.
It’s not just about cutting for this year, but what does the end of the current year look like and what will next year turn out to be, McBurnett said “there are so many variables.”
In the 100-plus page budget is a letter from McBurnett explaining how the city balanced its budget. When the city approved its preliminary budget, it was still looking at a $1.2 million deficit. However, it turned out the city didn’t have to cut that additional $1.2 million. Instead, it only had to find an additional $382,702 from the the budget to cover the shortfall. Instead of cutting the budget even more, the city moved that amount from operational reserves to cover the deficit.
McBurnett’s letter stated there were several factors that contributed to the city finding ways to make up the $1.2 million shortfall. Some of those factors include the sale-tax revenues coming in at $244,000 higher than expected, interest revenue on long-term CD’s coming in at $188,000 more than expected, police wages and overtime being adjusted downward by over $90,000 to reflect the new personnel schedules, and property tax coming in at about $100,000 more than estimated.
“Right now, sales tax is difficult to predict I’d say,” McBurnett said in an interview.
As for expenditures, the preliminary budget included defunding a fourth police officer position, estimated to cost $100,000 with salary and benefits and a reduction of $156,000 in a Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport request.
“These unanticipated revenues and decreased expenditure projections helped increase our projected cash carryover amount to begin fiscal year 2021,” McBurnett’s message stated.
For the complete budget, see the document below.