Holly Town Board Approves 2012 Budget, Discusses Landfill Compliance Costs

The Holly Town Board dealt with a variety of financial matters during their monthly meeting, Wednesday, December 7.  Issues ranged from approving the 2012 budget, to developing additional income from use of the landfill to meet costs of compliance regulations there, levied earlier this year by the state. 

Holly Town Administrator, Marsha Willhite, led the board and interested citizens through the multi-page budget message which showed the mill levy will not change from the current year, at 28.866 mills.  Because the assessed valuation in the town has increased by $121,956, from $2,249,980 to $2,371,936, the property taxes have increased by a total of $3,250.  The general summary indicated that there will be few changes in the town services from this year to 2012.  

The consolidated budget summary shows expenditures and other provisions, estimated for 2011 at $1,868,887 and the 2012 budget is set at $1,981,451. The 2012 General Fund Expenditures are down slightly from 2011, from $354,300 to $350,126.  Some additional funding, $10,000, has been earmarked for repairs to the Holly Theater wall, plus an additional $23,000 which will come from the Town’s Conservation Trust Fund. 

Needed upgrades at the landfill to correct compliance deficiencies will cost about $20,000, according to figures Willhite presented to the Town Board.  She explained that the landfill was considered fine for the last three years, but a staffing change at the state public health office resulted in a new inspector who viewed the landfill in a different light.  Now, the manner in which concrete is stored, along with trees and branches, various procedures at the landfill, record keeping and water well and gas well monitoring will have to be altered to be in compliance.  Willhite said she was granted extensions for some of the compliance issues, but they fell short of the time needed to enact them.  The board took no action, but did discuss increasing user fees by $4.14 to $4.50 per month for the 315 landfill customers.   The new Holly school project will also generate tons of waste material, but negotiations for user fees from contractors and sub-contractors are not finalized.  The type of materials allowed in the landfill from school demolitions, and the manner in which it is treated and stored must be determined as well. The board will review further funding options at their January meeting. 

A request to waive a $2,000 building permit fee for a proposed education building for the St. Francis of Rome Catholic Church was discussed.  Plans call for a 30 by 50 foot building with a projected cost of $150,000.  The board discussed other, similar waivers that had been presented to them, and decided to charge the fee, a portion of which would be rebated, based on the actual costs of the permitting.  

The 2012 contract with the Prowers County Sheriff’s office was approved at a cost to the town of $49,500.  Undersheriff Ron Trowbridge attended the meeting and brought the contract back to the Prowers County Commissioners for their signature of approval.  That action occurred during their meeting on December 8.  There are no changes between the 2011 and 2012 contracts for law enforcement services to the town for an additional year. 

A brief crew report on town upgrades and services showed that several power poles blown down in the strong winds on November 26 have been replaced, the town is providing a dump truck for debris being taken from renovations underway to the former L-M Drug on Main Street, the transmission of a trash truck was recently repaired and all the town’s holiday lights have been strung. 

The board looked at options for utilizing a program called the Colorado Community Work Experience.  This is a form of ‘workfare’ using TANF money to pay for workers recommended by the Department of Social Services, to perform various community service projects.  A person would be required to perform 35 hours of service a week, they would be covered by liability insurance and their wages would not come from an employer, but from TANF money.  The board decided that most of the work would be seasonal, probably in warmer weather, but some form of supervision would be required, as well as other employment guidelines.  No decision was made to opt in to the program at this time.

By Russ Baldwin

 

 

 

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