Rock Springs Council Finds a Way to Balance its Proposed Budget

The proposed budget includes water and sewer rate increases.
Rock Springs Council Finds a Way to Balance its Proposed Budget

ROCK SPRINGS — The Rock Springs City Council will need to move roughly $6.4 million from its general fund operating budget into its operational reserves in order to move forward with a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.

A public hearing is scheduled at the Council meeting Tuesday night to allow residents the opportunity to comment on the city’s roughly $40 million budget. Council will then consider a resolution approving the budget later in the meeting.

“The fiscal year 2021-2022 Proposed Budget presented for your consideration is in balance with a transfer to operational reserves of $6,391,119.06,” Director of Administrative Services Matthew L. McBurnett wrote in a letter to the Council.

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The budget takes into account the latest Consensus Revenue Estimating Group Report (CREG) estimated that revenues have slightly improved from the forecast in January of 2021. McBurnett also noted that sales and use tax collections, which is a major revenue source for cities, towns, and counties, outperformed projections statewide by 4 percent through March of 2021.

“However, annual changes across the state are exceptionally disparate with some counties down as much as 49.4 percent, and other counties ahead by as much as 38.6 percent. The City ended the fiscal year down by 15.4 percent,” McBurnett stated.

The budget also reflects 26 defunded positions in the police, parks and recreation, and engineering/operations and public services departments.

The proposed budget includes an anticipated 6 percent increase in water rates and a 2 percent increase in sewer rates, McBurnett said.

CARES Funding

The City received roughly $8 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, (CARES Act) funding during the current fiscal year through the State Lands and Investment Board’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. This provided reimbursement for expenditures incurred due to the public-health emergency.

The City’s allocation of the American Relief Plan funding for local governments will be nearly $3.5 million, which will be distributed in two equal payments one year apart.

See below for a general summary of the budget. Click here to read the entire budget.

Other Business

The Council is scheduled to host a public hearing on the proposed sewer rate increase. According to information in the Council packet, the proposed 2 percent increase will be effective July 1, 2021. The user fee will go from from $0.05025 per cubic foot to $0.05126 per cubic foot. The minimum monthly sewer charge will increase from $13.47 to $13.74, which is a 27 cent increase per month. After the public hearing, the Council will take action on a resolution putting the increase into effect.

Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport Director Devon Brubaker is scheduled to give an update on the Commercial Terminal Modernization project. Council will decide whether or not to accept the first part of a $4.9 million grant agreement between the United States Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration and the City of Rock Springs for this project.

To review the entire packet, click here.