(Riverton, WY) – Riverton’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year includes a 207 percent increase in the city council line item.
The council’s budget is slated to rise from about $120,000 this year, to almost $247,000 next year, city administrator Kyle Butterfield said during a work session this week.
The bulk of the $127,200 increase – $86,000 – will come from the national opioid settlement that Riverton chose to join.
The money must be used to support “opioid abatement strategies,” according to the settlement agreement.
Those strategies can include:
-treating opioid use disorder
-connecting people who need help to the help they need
-addressing the needs of criminal-justice-involved persons
-addressing the needs of women who are or may become pregnant
-supporting people in treatment and recovery and reducing stigma
-preventing over-prescribing and ensuring proper prescribing of opioids
-preventing misuse of opioids
-preventing overdose deaths and other harms
-funding additional services for children being removed from the home and/or placed in foster care due to custodial opioid use
-funding law enforcement expenditures relating to the opioid epidemic
-educating first responders regarding appropriate practices and precautions when dealing with fentanyl or other drugs
-leadership, planning and coordination
“We can work with you on how to put those (funds) into the community to help curb that epidemic that’s … impacting so many individuals and families,” Butterfield told the council this week.
The next-largest increase in the proposed council budget will cover legal costs, which are expected to rise by 210 percent next year, from $20,000 to $42,000.
The city’s budget workbook says, “the legal services line item was increased above historical trends to address legal fees associated with a Century Link claim and an internal claim.”
Butterfield said the city is seeking damages from Century Link for cost overruns on the Sunset Drive improvement project.
Staff also moved the city’s annual Wyoming Community Gas grant to the council budget this year, Butterfield said, resulting in an increase of $12,500.
Previously, that money went to the parks department “to help with improvements there,” he said, but this year, “we’re putting it into your budget so we’re tracking how those funds are being used better.”
“We feel … that you can discuss (those expenses) as a council for community improvements,” he said.
Another $5,000 was shifted to the council budget this year to help support community events, Butterfield said.
He reminded the council that they have set “a specific goal to support two major community events each year,” including “an idea (for) some type of winter activity.”
“We’ve put $5,000 into this budget so that you can choose how to support community events,” Butterfield said. “We hope that $5,000 will help you accomplish that goal.”
The smallest increase to the proposed council budget will go toward information technology upgrades in the council chambers, Butterfield said.
“Instead of this awesome projector … our IT team is proposing some large-screen TVs that will bring us a little bit closer to modern technology (and) can provide information to the viewing audience and those at home,” he explained.
The increase amounts to less than $2,000.
For more information about the proposed budget, call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.