Commissioners adopt budget

RBC I In a public meeting last Monday, Rio Blanco County budget director Chris Singleton presented an overview of the proposed 2012 budget to commissioners and department heads.
“The budget is basically flat again this year,” RBC commissioner chairman Kai Turner said.
The commissioners approved the budget with expected revenues at more than $64 million, which includes federal and state grant funds for capital projects, like the runway reconstruction project at the Meeker Airport, against expenditures of more than $59 million.
“We have to budget grant funds in the full amount to make sure we have matching funds for big projects,” Turner said.
Depending on the FAA’s budget being appropriated, ninety-five percent of the airport project will come from a federal grant, 2.5 percent will come from a state grant and the county will match 2.5 percent of the $14.4 million project, which could start in 2012.
“We are investing heavily on capital improvements right now and not letting operations costs increase,” Singleton said of the airport project, an overlay project on RBC Road 5 (Piceance Creek) and an increased scope on a radio tower project.
Assessed valuations, from which property taxes are generated, increased 15.6 percent to $1.304 billion, resulting in a $1.6 million increase in property tax revenue for the county.
The value of oil and gas and industrial property combine for 82 percent of the assessed value in Rio Blanco County.
Singleton said there was no change in full-time employees (FTEs) from 2011 but no cost of living increases were included in the 2012 budget for a third year in a row.