Dispatch wins budget battle

Carson City supervisors hope to improve communications by increasing utility franchise fees.

Three new Sheriff's dispatchers and two communications supervisors took up more than half of the budget for increased or new positions.

Supervisors took the basic, balanced budget Thursday and increased franchise fees a total of $410,000 to fund or expand 10 positions.

Supervisors approved $123,082 to hire two communications supervisors and $116,364 to add three dispatchers at the dispatch center. In addition, the general fund will contribute $29,901 to support a radio tech position in fleet management, a full-time information systems position for $52,101 and seasonal positions at Kings Canyon's Long Ranch Park and Centennial Park for the parks department.

Supervisors also voted to add a patrol deputy for $57,800 and the community development department's compliance officer will be increased from half to three-quarter time.

Carson City's general fund budget for fiscal year 2002-03 totals $44.5 million, when the staff and services supervisors voted for Thursday night are added in.

When federal money, budgets of the enterprise funds including the water and sewer utilities and other sources are included, the total Carson City budget for the coming fiscal year will come to just about $90 million.

City Finance Director Dave Heath said nearly 73 percent of the general fund budget will go to salaries ($23.7 million) and benefits ($8.7 million).

The board raised the money by adding a half-percent to franchise fees charged Sierra Pacific Power Co. and Southwest Gas. Together, those increases will raise an estimated $310,000 next fiscal year.

They also voted to create a new 1 percent franchise fee on city water and sewer services. Staff estimates the increase will bring in another $100,000 a year.

Those revenues plus the $26,000 extra in the budget gave them $436,000 to spend. When everything was finished, they had spent $433,540.

All but $27,675 of the total ongoing budget additions approved by the board Thursday will pay for 10 new or expanded positions.

Of the remaining ongoing funding, $20,000 was put into public information and community planning in the city manager's office and $7,675 into a training budget for the library. The public information project also got $10,000 in one-shot money.

They also boosted the $200,000 they had for one-shot spending by $96,000 from the reserve put aside out of excess sales tax revenues a year ago.

The biggest item on the one-shot spending list was the combined $50,000 to convert case management software and $13,000 for a scanner's position in the district court clerk's office.

A list of 17 different community support groups received a total of $129,000 in support for the coming year. For the most part, those groups such as Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Nevada Hispanic Services and the Brewery Arts Center received about what they got last year.


Increased fees:

Increase franchise fee on Sierra Pacific Power Co. from 2 percent to 2.5 percent: $250,000 a year.

Increase franchise fee on Southwest Gas Co. from 2 percent to 2.5 percent: $60,000 a year.

Create and implement new 1 percent franchise fee on water and sewer service in Carson City: $100,000 a year.

Ongoing costs added to the budget:

Radio Tech position, Fleet Management: $29,901

Two communications supervisors: $123,082

Three dispatchers: $116,364

One sheriff's patrol deputy: $57,800

Information Systems position: $52,101

Seasonal position, Long Ranch: $10,333

Half-Seasonal position, Centennial Park: $5,741

Increase Community Development Compliance Officer to 3/4 time: $10,543

Public Information and Community Planning: $20,000

Library Training: $7,675

One-shot expenditures:

Case management software, District Court Clerk: $50,000

Scanning position, District Court Clerk: $13,000

Library books: $20,000

Medical retirement subsidy: $46,000

Public Information and Community Planning: $10,000

Patrol car for new deputy: $25,000

Information Systems support: $3,000

Community Support appropriations:

Community Council on Youth Bus Program: $15,000

HealthSmart: $5,000

Brewery Arts Center: $10,000

Community Council on Youth: $20,000

Nevada Day Committee: $3,000

Community Counseling Center: $20,000

Retired Senior and Volunteer Program: $11,000

Court Appointed Special Advocates: $10,000

Carson Valley Conservation District: $5,000

Nevada Hispanic Services: $10,000

Capitol City Alano Club: $3,000

Soroptimist International: $3,000

Salvation Army: $500

Nevada-Tahoe Conservation District: $5,000

Capital City Humane Society: $5,000

Center for Independent Living: $2,000

Senior Service Network: $1,500


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