RBC budget crunching begins

RBC I It’s that time of year again.
When Rio Blanco County officials are hammering out the details for the next year’s budget.
And it’s not a pretty picture, at least partially.
“It is anticipated that Rio Blanco County will be postponing some capital projects and going ahead with others to take advantage of the current decline in construction costs,” said Diane Sorensen, the county finance and budget director. “These decisions will be made during and after individual (department) workshops.”
Sorensen presented a copy of the proposed 2010 budget to commissioners at a meeting Monday. A copy of the proposed budget will be available for public review starting today at the county clerk’s offices in Rangely and Meeker, as well as online at the county’s Web site: www.co.rio-blanco.co.us.
In the proposed budget, forecasted operating revenues for 2010 are down 18 percent from the ’09 budget, with the biggest anticipated declines coming in sales and uses taxes and intergovernmental revenue.
“Sales and use tax decline is due to the economic downturn and intergovernmental decline is due to the possible zero revenues from the Federal Mineral Leasing and Severance Tax in 2010,” Sorensen said, adding operating expenditures are budgeted at an 18 percent decrease from ’09.
The next step in the process is for commissioners to meet with individual county departments to review their budget requests and make necessary changes. The budget workshops are tentatively set for the last week of October and the first week of November.
Sorensen said a final adopted budget will be presented to commissioners at a public meeting the first part of December.