Carson City board reviews $136.7 million proposed budget

The Board of Supervisors spent Thursday afternoon reviewing Carson City’s fiscal year 2017 tentative budget in the first of two meetings examining the plan before they approve it.

Nancy Paulson, the city’s chief financial officer, provided an overview of the proposed $136.7 million budget, a similar presentation she delivered twice on Monday at the city’s first budget open house for the public.

That compares to the city’s spending of $135.6 million in the current fiscal year.

The city is projected to collect $138.2 million in revenues, including money from charges for services; consolidated, property and other taxes; licenses and permits; and fines and forfeits.

Sheri Russell, deputy chief financial officer, discussed the city’s sewer, water and stormwater drainage funds.

The sewer fund is expected to generate $12,870,730 in revenue from charges for services and connection fees, and proposed expenditures are $10,992,244.

The water fund is projected to collect $14,775,987 and spend $14,178,496 while the stormwater drainage fund is anticipated to generate $1,394,381 with expenditures of $1,104,641.

Two departments, the sheriff’s office and the justice court/municipal court, also made presentations on their proposed budgets.

Sheriff Ken Furlong and Kathie Heath, fiscal chief, outlined the departments’ various divisions, their function and share of the sheriff’s office overall $18,421,101 budget.

Furlong touted the success of the recently launched MOST —for Mobile Outreach and Safety Team — for assisting residents with mental illness and discussed the potential expense of body cameras for the city’s force.

“We have a few body cameras, but as a rule the officer at your home or on the street does not have one on,” Furlong said.

“There will be a substantial impact if we as a community want to have officers wearing body cameras.”

Maxine Cortes, court administrator, talked about the courts, which consolidated their administrative functions in 2006 for an annual savings of $391,139.

The portion of the courts proposed budget funded by the general fund is $3,830,562.

Other departments were on hand to make presentations if needed, but several supervisors said they had just a few remaining budget questions they wanted addressed before the next meeting.

Commissioner Jim Shirk said he wants a breakdown of city funding of sports and recreation projects, including facility costs.

He was also interested in a more detailed look at the funding mechanisms for street repair and maintenance.

Commissioner Karen Abowd asked for the city’s total power costs and whether money could be saved through solar energy as well as a study of whether it would make fiscal sense to use a private contractor for parks maintenance.

Commissioner Lori Bagwell wanted City Manager Nick Marano to report on the city’s membership in county and city organizations such as the Nevada Association of Counties and Nevada League of Cities as well as its lobby contract with Walker & Associates; a programmatic review of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension; and an update on the V&T Railway bond.

Those questions as well as the capital improvement program and supplemental requests will be addressed at the supervisors May 5 meeting.

Fred Voltz made the only public comment, voicing several issues with the proposed budget, including an overall concern city employees are getting raises when many residents are seeing their income remain flat or decline and some are still unable to find employment.

“It seems like in the spirit of understanding the hardship in this community city employees should not get raises,” he said.

The board is scheduled to approve the final budget at its meeting May 19 and the budget filed with the county clerk and Department of Taxation on June 1.


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