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First hearing for Ranchester FY14 budget Tuesday

SHERIDAN — Ranchester Town Council has drafted its preliminary budget for fiscal year 2014 and will conduct its first reading at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

Town Clerk Teri Laya said, no major cuts were made and the budget looks solid.

“The town of Ranchester is doing the right things with public funds,” Laya said. “When you do the right things and are a good steward of money, things happen for you.”

General fund anticipated revenues, including cash on hand, are set at $864,729. Expenditures are estimated at $799,276.

Revenues for last year were $1,234,780, and expenditures were $1,222,300. Laya said last year’s budget included a $400,000 information center project and a $157,000 Safe Routes to School project, which explains the drop in the fiscal year 2014 budget.
Major projects for 2013-2014 include chip sealing on 14 streets in northern Ranchester and another Safe Routes to School project.
The bid award for chip sealing was $133,000, which will be covered by Capital Facilities Tax funds.

Safe Routes to School is a stand-alone project that will be funded with a $135,000 government grant, Laya said. Safe Routes to School encourages students to walk and bike to school by providing safe, easily accessible routes. Streets and sidewalks to be improved in the proposed project include the south side of Betty Street between Carl and Weare Streets, Weare Street from Betty Street to U.S. Highway 14 and Gillette Street from Hardin to Halbert Streets.

Water, sewer and garbage rates for fiscal year 2014 will remain the same, apart from the rate increase for excessive water usage passed on first reading by town council May 21. Projected revenues are $156,000 for water, $53,000 for sewer and $123,000 for garbage. The system is self-sufficient, Laya said, and no additional funds will be needed to provide service.

Ranchester has tentatively proposed $160,000 for Optional One-Cent Sales Tax funds. Expenditures will include new equipment, eight social service organizations and $10,000 to operate the information center. Social service organizations to receive support include the Sheridan County Conservation District, Advocacy and Resource Center, Senior Center, Child’s Place, Northern Wyoming Mental Health, Juvenile Justice and the Tongue River Valley Community Center.

“We hope to have rollovers from last year, and the cash on hand accounts are looking really good,” Laya said. “We’re doing well.”
Laya credited Maintenance Supervisor Tim Brewer, Public Works Director Tracy Kepley and Town Engineer Chris Johnson for their efficient and conscientious use of public money.

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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