Mt. CB considers tough budget

Public hearing Dec. 2

A public hearing to discuss the town of Mt. Crested Butte’s 2009 budget is scheduled for Tuesday, December 2. The town is facing a tight budget in 2009 due to an anticipated dip in tourist visits and increasing costs in some areas of its operations.


Town finance officer Karl
Trujillo says projected sales tax
revenues have been cut 10 percent
from previous assumptions for
the first quarter of 2009.
The town is also facing increased
costs for things such as
trash service, computer repairs
and employee insurance, while expenditures
like salaries and wages
are being frozen at 2008 levels.
One thing that must be decided
on December 2 is whether
or not the town will be giving
any donations to local businesses
and services. At the start of the
council’s budget work session
on November 18 Trujillo said the
$20,000 donations line item was
reduced to zero in order to balance
the budget, but if the council
approved budget cuts in other
areas some of the donations could
still be provided.
Town manger Joe Fitzpatrick
said there are some organizations
the town has given contributions
to on a yearly basis and may wish
to continue doing so, such as the
Crested Butte Search and Rescue
The town council has been
discussing the budget over a series
of work sessions between October
and November. On election
day, November 4, the town was
successful in passing a ballot issue
that allows the issuance of municipal
bonds for a number of capital
improvements projects. However,
the town was unsuccessful in
passing a property tax increase
that would have provided a larger
and more stable revenue stream
– as well as provide a revenue
source to pay back the bonds.
Fitzpatrick says the town will
continue to be faced with tough
budget choices without a new
source of revenue. “What are the
options? The options are to go
back to the voters in April of ‘09
and try to get it fixed and try to
get a mill levy passed that will get
us out of the hole were in… or it’s
not ever going to pass and we’ve
got to find ways to totally cut
back what the town does in order
to maintain growth,” Fitzpatrick

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