Holly Trustees Approve 2015 Budget

Holly Depot

Holly Depot

The Holly Trustees approved the 2015 budget following a hearing that preceded the regular monthly meeting this past Wednesday, November 5.

Total General Fund expenditures for 2015 are projected at $354,442, only slightly below the current year estimate of $355,216 Revenue for 2015 from other than property taxes is $283,653. The mill levy is expected to generate $72,393.  Utility Fund expenditures for 2015 are estimated $1,725,817.

The town’s assessed valuation has increased from $2,419,345 to $2,645,674 for an increase of $226,029. Property taxes will go up accordingly by $6,524, from $69,837 for 2014 to $76,361 for the approaching year.  Total cash for the Town of Holly is expected to be $1,073,348 by the end of 2015, a gain of $237,527.  The town’s emergency reserve balance for 2015 is $77,257.

The Trustees voted to accept optional coverage from CIRSA, the state’s risk sharing agency, which covers cities and communities in Colorado. Coverage for equipment breakdown, which is over and above general property and casualty, increased annually from $678 to $715.  Occupational Accidental Death and Dismemberment is $9.60 per employee, unchanged from last year.   A new addition, Excess Crime, was added to the CIRSA policy.  An annual premium of $231 provides $500,000 coverage and protects the town from employee theft or computer-oriented crimes by town government employees.

The employee health plan from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield was approved with a monthly premium of $6,107.21. Two resolutions were passed by the Trustees; 2014-7 adopts the southeast Colorado All-Hazards Region/Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Under the resolution, Holly will qualify for various forms of emergency assistance under FEMA; 2014-8 pertains to the Low-Income Energy Assistance Act.  The town sets aside a 1% fee of all money placed into an unrestricted reserve from the town’s electric department.  Those funds, collected throughout the state, go into the Energy Outreach Colorado program to help pay for utility expenses for low income residents in the state.  The 1% fee will be used exclusively by Holly Utility customers and residents.

Granada Police Chief, David Dougherty, who stated that he was not appearing before the Trustees as a representative of the Police Department or the Town of Granada, provided a cost breakdown and an overview of his department’s daily operations including an analysis of the times, dates and nature of the calls the department responded to. “We can show how many calls we received on a given day of the week and whether the calls came in between 6am and 6pm or from 6pm to the next morning,” he explained, showing a chart of calls and responses through the week.

Dougherty also provided a financial summary of the Granada Police operation. “A basic officer is paid $28,800 a year, and with various benefits and insurance, that amounts to $39,444.  The annual cost of the department to Granada is $129,717.”  The chief said that year to date, the department has received 486 calls for service.

Several Trustees wanted to know about grant financing and how much has been received in the town. Dougherty responded, “Over the past five years, we’ve gotten $625,600 in JAG grants.”  He said that he applies for the grants himself, stating that there are some matching funds that go with some of the grants and the window for applications with the state opens up each January.  He told the trustees he’d be happy to discuss any future cost sharing proposal for the department with Holly, adding that a lot of the infrastructure for the police department is already in place.

The trustees tabled any action on bids received for the town’s water tower inspection, maintenance and cleaning. One response did not follow any of the specific requests for information sought by the board and Administer Willhite said the town needs a more thorough breakdown on costs and needs before it can make an informed decision.  The Trustees approved a bid for LED street lighting with the low bid of $13,860 for 126 lights.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityCountyEconomyEmploymentEnergyFeaturedHollyLaw EnforcementProwers CountyUtilities


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