City Projects Budget Shortfall of Nearly $800K

by Staff Reporter / Apr 28, 2015 / comments

City Projects Budget Shortfall of Nearly $800K: Council Begins Process Of Making Cuts

ESPAÑOLA — On Thursday, April 23, all Española City councilors and the Mayor met for a Finance Board meeting to begin the budget process for the next fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.

Administrative Services Director Joyce Sandoval presented the board with projected revenues and a proposed city budget expenditures for the next fiscal year.

Sandoval confirmed that revenue income to the city is projected to be lower than the current year’s revenues. This means the city needs to tighten its belt and come up with a balanced budget. Mayor Alice Lucero reminded Councilors that the city is legally required to present a balanced budget to the state’s Department of Finance by June 1.

Sandoval broke down all revenue sources and detailed the current forecast for next fiscal year revealing a total projected income of $9,959,417. This projection is $319,749 less than the current year’s estimated revenues.

Anticipating the shortfall, City Manager Kelly Duran had directed all department heads to provide a flat budget recommendation. Almost all departments were able to do so, the only major exception being the public safety department where the city manager had proposed increasing the number of uniformed police officers by four to better provide policing services. That increase would cost the city $338,000 above current projected spending. Including the proposed police department increase the proposed City Manager budget is $794,229 above projected revenues.

After outlining projected revenues and overall budget requests Sandoval guided the board through a more detailed review of each department’s proposed budgets. During the process councilors discussed possibly areas to reduce in order to balance the budget.

Mayor Lucero asked the city manager and department heads to develop a list of possible cuts for the next meeting which is scheduled to take place May 21.