After working to refine the City of Ouray’s 2013 budget for the past two months, the Ouray City Council holds its final budget work session Thursday, Dec. 6, 4 to 6 p.m., and will formally adopt the budget at a special meeting at Monday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. Both meetings take place at the Ouray Community Center.
Council is statutorily required to adopt the new budget and submit it to the State before Dec. 15.
At its Thursday worksession, council will specifically be discussing aspects of the Parks Fund that pertain to the Ouray Hot Springs Pool.
One thing that distinguishes the 2013 budget is the absence of two large line items, the “second water tank” project, and the acquisition of the Ouray Ice Park. Both of these decade-long projects were brought to conclusion in 2012, City Administrator Patrick Rondinelli was pleased to report.
Otherwise, he described the budget as “pretty stripped down.”
“Our plan is to not take on too many capital projects in 2013,” he said. “We did a heck of a lot in 2012. As an organization, we need time to reset, and focus attention on the assets we have.”
The next large capital project waiting in the wings will be a major overhaul of the Ouray Hot Springs Pool. The pool capital improvement committee has been meeting weekly on Mondays to determine the scope of this upcoming project, and is expected to make some type of recommendation to council in the upcoming year.
“It may lead to a ballot question next fall,” Rondinelli said. “For now, the only thing council would consider would be to seek a municipal bond, not a tax increase.”
The city has seen a trend of higher-than-anticipated year-end revenues for the past three years. Still, Rondinelli said, “We always budget conservatively. The main thing is, we are very fortunate the local economy has done OK; we fared fairly well, considering what the rest of country faced. But from a staff standpoint, and organizational standpoint, our budget is pretty stripped down. We don’t do a lot of extended programs other municipalities offer.”