SHERIDAN — Sheridan City Council passed the city budget for fiscal year 2020 last week, which sees increases in both city revenues and expenditures.
The $47,527,826 budget is an increase from last year’s $44,229,297 budget. The city’s general fund accounts for roughly $12.7 million of its fiscal year 2020 budget; its special revenue fund makes up about $20.5 million of the total budget; the enterprise fund is just over $14.1 million; and debt service is $193,754.
Council also approved an eight-mill property tax levy for its fiscal year 2020 budget, which city treasurer Karen Burtis estimates will generate $1,580,800 in revenue for the city.
While some of the increase in the city budget can be attributed to growth — the city’s sales and use tax revenues exceeded expectations throughout fiscal year 2019 — the city also has several “big-ticket” expenses built into its budget for the coming fiscal year. The city will undertake an update of the city’s 20-year-old software system, which City Administrator Mark Collins said could cost between $835,000 to more than $1 million.
The city also has also included funding for capital projects like improvements to Black Tooth Park, North Park and the East Fifth Street corridor in the budget, as well as funding to solicit public input on renovations to Kendrick Pool, which emerged as one of the public’s chief concerns in a survey that accompanied the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan update.
The city also had $227,000 in Optional One-Cent Sales Tax revenues beyond what it projected in fiscal year 2019. Council voted to use $25,000 of those funds to purchase a snow groomer, which city staff can use for a number of maintenance projects throughout the winter, and $75,000 to fund the city’s pilot “Pay As You Throw” program, a metered waste-collection program designed to charge residents based on how much trash they throw away.
City Council President Clint Beaver raised philosophical concerns about two relatively small expenditures in the city budget. The first was a $10,000 contribution the city was making toward a Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Bighorns project. Beaver explained that the housing project would benefit a small number of people and said that he would prefer to see the money spent on something that would benefit a broad spectrum of citizens.
The other item Beaver objected to was $62,000 contribution the city was making to the Northern Wyoming Community College District for the establishment of a machine tools program at Sheridan College.
Beaver said he did not believe making direct contributions to the college was a city function.
Councilors Patrick Henderson and Richard Bridger argued that the city’s partnership with Sheridan College has helped develop a local workforce and contributed to the city’s economic development.
Beaver made separate motions to remove the two expenditures from the budget, but neither motion received a second from another member of council and council did not vote on them.