2012 budget presented

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RBC I The 2012 budget for Rio Blanco County was presented to commissioners Monday by budget/finance director Chris Singleton.
“It’s in balance as defined by Colorado law and it will be posted on our website (www.co.rio-blanco.co.us/) by the end of the day,” Singleton told the commissioners.
“It’s a big job to get to this point,” chairman Kai Turner said after thanking Singleton for her work. “We have more work to do but this is a good place to be.
According to the “Profile of Rio Blanco County,” included in the 2012 proposed budget, the county’s assessed value increased approximately 15.5 percent during 2011.
Rio Blanco County’s total assessed value in 2010 was more than $1.128 billion and the assessed value for 2011 is $1.303 billion.
The proposed budget projects revenues at $46.9 million, which included $13.44 million in aviation grants for a runway reconstruction project at the Meeker airport. The total cost of the runway project is $15.75 million, of which the Federal Aviation Administration will cover 95 percent of the cost and the state of Colorado will cover 2.5 percent. Rio Blanco County expects to contribute a total of $863,000 in matching funds toward the project.
The following is per the most recent abstract (2010 assessed values for taxes collected in 2011):

Sources of property tax:
Oil and Gas    51 percent
Industrial    28 percent
Natural Resources    3 percent
Commercial     3 percent
Agricultural    1 percent
Residential     4 percent
Vacant Land    1 percent
Public Utilities    10 percent

Distribution of property tax:
County    21 percent
Towns    1 percent
(Meeker and Rangely)
K-12 School Districts    22 percent
College    5 percent
Special Districts    51 percent

According to the profile, “The energy industry is the major driver of the county’s economy. Oil and gas has been 70 percent of the total assessed value historically. Recently, the share of oil and gas has decreased while industrial has increased. Together they currently comprise 82 percent of total assessed value.”
Turner said the commissioners asked for a “flat budget” with no cost-of-living allocations and would begin holding work sessions with every department to “scrutinize” the proposed budget with department heads.
Singleton said now is the time for commissioners, departments and the community to review the budget, which is scheduled to be adopted Dec. 12, 2011, in a meeting at 6 p.m.
In other news, the county is abuzz with the letters O-H-V, which stand for off-highway vehicle. Commissioner Ken Parsons said he met with the Rangely Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) group to work on maps to pass around the community for trail suggestions and the group will meet again at the end of this week.
Commissioners Turner and Shawn Bolton have also attended OHV meetings, reporting progress.
The first organizational meeting for OHV enthusiasts will be held at Kilowatt Korner, Oct. 19 in Meeker at 7 p.m.