Rio Rancho Acting City Manager James Babin has provided a recommended city budget for Fiscal Year 2014.
“The recommended budget maintains all existing city services; provides funding to address critical needs in the areas of public safety, road maintenance and information technology; and sets aside resources to address employee compensation,” Babin said in a news release.
“The local economy’s steady, but slow recovery has led to modest growth in total city revenue sources. However, many areas of city services remain in need of additional funding, and based on future revenue projections, the city will need to continue to carefully and strategically allocate available resources.”
A brief overview of the recommended budget, which covers July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, includes:
• Two new police officer positions, including vehicles ($200,000);
• Two new firefighter/EMT positions ($150,000);
• Loan to purchase 20 new police vehicles (estimated cost per vehicle of $41,582 including equipping);
• Purchase of one new fire engine (estimated cost of $500,000), cardiac defibrillator and ambulance gurney;
• $200,000 for pavement preservation of roads citywide;
• A loan for roughly $600,000 for multiple high-priority streets and vehicles such as a road grader, water truck, and traffic light and maintenance vehicles;
• $100,000 for computers;
• $600,000 for the Governing Body to allocate for staff;
• Health care premiums for the city and employees are set to increase by 3.5 percent. Health care plan costs are estimated to increase by 6.82 percent, but premiums will increase by 3.5 percent because the city is using its medical reserve fund balance to offset the increase;
• 1.5 percent increase in employee contributions to the Public Employees’ Retirement Association, pursuant to recent legislation;
• Scheduled 8.8 percent increase to existing water and wastewater utility rates, as approved by city councilors in January; and
• $52,573,477 in General Fund expenditures.
The reserved general fund ending balance is $4,381,123, which meets the state statute reserve requirement of 8.3 percent of general fund expenditures.
The unreserved general fund ending balance is $2,666,406.
Combined, that brings the city’s total reserves to 13.4 percent of expenditures. The city’s long-term policy target is 15 percent.
According to the city charter, the mayor has until April 25 to review the recommended budget and submit written comments to the city manager.
The city manager’s recommended budget can be viewed on the city’s website, ci.rio-rancho.nm.us/FY14Budget, and a printed copy can be reviewed at the Office of the City Clerk at Rio Rancho City Hall, 3200 Civic Center Circle; Loma Colorado Main Library, 755 Loma Colorado Blvd.; or Esther Bone Memorial Library, 950 Pinetree Road.
The governing body will review the recommended budget at hearings on May 1, 2 and 7.
The hearings will all be held at City Hall at 6:30 p.m. and streamed live and available as archived video on the city’s website, and broadcast on the city’s RioVision government cable channel 15, available to Rio Rancho CableOne subscribers.
The governing body will hear public comment regarding the budget at May 8 and May 22 meetings, which will be at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. A vote to adopt a budget will take place at the May 22 meeting.