Increased revenues, decreased expenditures could indicate economic uptick

SHERIDAN — Although only one month into its new fiscal year, the city of Sheridan is reporting increased revenues and decreased expenditures, potentially indicating the uptick in the economy that was hoped for earlier this year when City Council adopted a general fund budget for the year that was $500,000 more than the previous year’s budget.

City Clerk and interim Treasurer Scott Badley gave the Council a financial update at its meeting Monday, which he will continue to do regularly to keep council members informed of the city’s finances.

The overall general fund budget was set at $11.2 million for fiscal year 2015, compared to $10.7 for fiscal year 2014. The council adopted a two-year budget in June, with general fund revenues set at $11.3 million for fiscal year 2016.

In July, city general fund revenues totalled $676,628, versus $617,114 in July of last year and $546,866 in July 2012. The increase for one-month revenues from this year compared to last year is $59,514.

Badley said the jump is due in part to increased sales and use tax revenue, with sales taxes bringing in approximately $24,500 more and use taxes $10,200 more than July of last year.

Gas tax revenues for this July compared to last July were nearly $42,000 higher, pulling in $70,323.

While the increases in sales, use and gas taxes alone are an increase of more than $75,000, decreases in revenue from building permits (down $31,000), occupation licenses (down $3,700), the planning department (down $2,000) and cigarette taxes (down nearly $1,000) brought down overall revenue for the month.

Badley reported that total general fund expenditures are also down for the first month of the new fiscal year. Expenditures totalled approximately $793,500, which is 7 percent of the yearly budget, down 1.3 percent from the average monthly expenditure of 8.3 percent of the total yearly budget.

Badley attributed the decreased expenditures to wise spending by department heads and noted that typically the city is able to keep expenditures a little more than $500,000 below overall budget for the year.

The total city budget for fiscal year 2015 is approximately $38.6 million, with the general fund budget comprising about 29 percent of the total budget.

In other business, City Council:

• approved on second reading an ordinance that will rezone approximately 2.67 acres in the Cloud Peak Ranch 16th filing subdivision near Mydland Road and Dome Drive from R-3 residential to R-1 residential, which will limit development to single family homes and patio style homes.

• heard an update from City Engineer Lane Thompson on the city’s hot mix plant. Thompson said that last year’s conversion from diesel to natural gas is saving the city on fuel costs and has made the plant much cleaner. In fact, Thompson said, the city passed a recent air quality test “with flying colors.”

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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