The Riverton City Council approved seven budget adjustments to close out the fiscal year during a special meeting Friday.
The new fiscal year begins July 1.
Staff are required to review city budgets before the end of each fiscal year and recommend adjustments in cases where “cost centers have been or will be over-expended,” city finance director Mia Harris explained during the Friday meeting.
Seven of the city’s 50 cost centers required budgetary adjustments this year, Harris said, beginning with the legal expenses line item for the mayor and council, which was over-expended by $17,500 “due to increased legal expenses.”
Staff recommended covering the extra expense using a transfer from the city’s capital outlay budget.
The same recommendation was made for the municipal court prisoner housing line item, which was over-expended by $100,685, Harris said, citing the “late receipt of prisoner housing invoices from Fremont County” and the fact that “housing costs have increased due to the number of defendants receiving jail sentences.”
Councilmember Kristy Salisbury asked for more information about the prisoner housing cost, wondering whether the increased expense had been “addressed” in the city’s new budget for the coming fiscal year.
“It’s been addressed in the new budget,” Harris said. “But we did decrease the prisoner housing budget for this year, so we have been working with our law enforcement and our municipal court judge and attorneys, and we’re hoping to decrease. …
“We’ve seen over the years that that line item has slowly and steadily increased. So we’re going to do what we can.”
A $7,000 increase was requested for the water fund debt service account, Harris continued, explaining that the “cost overrun results from the staff incorrectly budgeting the first payment of the now-complete Riverton Water Supply Project.”
“The staff did not consider accumulated interest earnings when projecting the budget,” she said, adding that there would be “no impact on the fiscal year 2024 budget, as the regular payments will remain consistent going forward.”
In the wastewater fund, staff asked for another $7,000 to cover “increases in heat expenses,” Harris said.
Both transfers will come out of the city’s capital outlay budget.
For Central Wyoming Regional Airport, the operations budget was over-expended by $17,063 this year “due to building maintenance costs,” Harris said, explaining that “the city incurred $21,888 in added expenses due to a mandated TSA remodel of the secure area.”
In addition, she said, the “increased costs of heat and electricity at the terminal building have created a cost overrun of nearly $43,000 this budget period.”
“Again, no additional monies are requested, (as) the staff proposes a transfer from unspent capital outlay budgets within the enterprise funds,” Harris said. “So as you can see, within the general and all the enterprise funds we are not asking for additional money – we are just moving items from one line item to the other.”
The final account requiring an adjustment was the city’s economic development fund, which holds half percent sales tax money.
Harris said that budget was over-expended by $677,000 because the funding agreements for several entitites that received funding in fiscal year 2022 stipulated that they were not to be paid until after the December 2022 sales tax collection period.
“The funds were received (but) not included in the budget,” Harris said, proposing “a transfer from cash to offset the difference in the fund.”
The changes that the council approved Friday totaled $871,500 and resulted in a budget increase of $678,000, bringing the city’s overall budget for fiscal year 2023 up from $30,403,009 to $31,081,009, according to a memo from staff.
For more information call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.