By Jack King
The 2004 Clovis city budget adopted Tuesday by the City Commission shows little change in expenditures from last year and is supported by an increase in gross receipts tax revenue, city officials said.
“We haven’t been in this good a shape in years,” said City Manager Raymond Mondragon.
Mondragon said gross receipts tax revenue showed a 6 percent increase in 2003, compared to an average 3 percent increase in recent years.
The city started fiscal year 2004 with a cash balance of $20.4 million. With projected revenues of $29.9 million and expenditures of $30.2 million, it expects to end the year with a $20 million cash balance.
In comparison, it began fiscal year 2003 with a cash balance of $19.7 million, with projected revenues of $28.5 million, expenditures of $30.5 million and a projected ending balance of $17.8 million.
Year end balances vary from projections depending on changes in revenue and spending, said city Finance Director Don Clifton.
He added that he has figured the 2004 conservatively, projecting only a 3 percent increase in gross receipts tax revenue despite last year’s windfall.
This year’s budget does not include a pay increase for city employees recommended by the City Commission because there wasn’t time to figure it in before sending the budget to the state Department of Finance and Administration, Clifton said.
However, $400,000 for the pay increase will be figured in as a budget change later this summer, Clifton said.
The $400,000 will come from the budget’s General Fund, which pays for police, fire, the city manager’s office, the commission and other government offices, as well as from the city sanitation and wastewater departments, he said.
Also not included in the budget are $800,000 for housing rehabilitation and flood control projects, using federal money allotted to the city by Gov. Bill Richardson July 23. Mondragon said the money won’t arrive from the governor’s office until October.
Among the projects included in this year’s budget:
• $850,000 in improvements to the Clovis Municipal Airport, with 90 percent federal funding, 5 percent state funding, 5 percent city funding.
• $600,000 in street repairs on East Grant Street, with 75 percent state funding and 25 percent city funding.
• $280,000 for a baseball field in Bob Spencer Park, using money appropriated by the state legislature.
• $200,000 for the Life Saver Food Bank, using money appropriated by the state legislature.
• $100,000 for improvement to the city’s industrial park, using money appropriated by the legislature.