May 272011

By Naomi Hatch–

Members of the Snowflake Town Council had their first look at the fiscal year 2012-13 budget at their May 24 meeting as Finance Director Brian Richards presented the tentative budget.

Total proposed fund expenditures/expenses are $7,949,788, with total proposed fund revenues set at $7,828,026, according to Richards, who noted that this includes the contingency fund, which he described as “a cushion that prevents the town from going over budget.”

“Since I’ve been here, from day one, we have virtually not replaced any positions that have been vacated unless they were absolutely needed,” said Town Manager Paul Watson.

Richards said they have worked with department heads, and there are not a lot of changes from last year’s budget because the 2010-11 fiscal year budget had cuts affecting many of the programs.

“This year with the budget, it wasn’t like that, mainly because we had a good census that actually helped us,” said Richards, noting Snowflake’s population increased by approximately 20 percent.

“The point I want to make is, rather than just waiting and having to deal with it in a catastrophic kind of fashion, we have eliminated positions as we’ve gone along. Kudos to the staff that has done that, and yet you have seen very little in diminished services that we provide. We have done that because the staff has stepped up,” said Watson. Snowflake has 47 employees, including the police department.

Mayor Kelly Willis asked the council members to review the 2011-12 tentative budget, which will be on the agenda for approval at the next council meeting.

In other business, Town Clerk Barbara Flake canvassed the votes for the May 17 General Election. Lorri Davis received 216 of the 367 votes cast in the race for one council seat, and Blaine Jarvis, 151. There were 286 early ballots cast and 81 cast on election day. Resolution No. 11-555 declaring the results of the general election was approved unanimously.