ALAMOSA — Alamosa Mosquito Control District Board members are proposing a 2013 budget based on a temporary mill levy reduction for taxpayers.
The district is permitted 5 mills but has taken a reduction to 4 mills the last couple of years and will reduce its mill levy even further next year. The district board plans on a temporary mill levy reduction to 3 mills for 2013.
The revenue difference between 3 and 4 mills is $250,000.
The district board during its meeting Tuesday night discussed budget items with staff and Sheila Hicks, CPA, of Wall, Smith, Bateman & Associates and approved the preliminary budget.
The public will have an opportunity to view and comment on the budget, which will be available at the district office and other locations in the city. The board is scheduled to certify the mill levy and adopt the budget on December 11.
The board made some revisions to the budget presented by Hicks Tuesday night. For example, the preliminary budget had $2,500 for interest on savings, and the board decided that was a bit optimistic. They revised the budget to reflect $2,000 interest on savings. The board also revised the vehicle maintenance budget from $5,000 to $6,000, given the expenses incurred this year.
One of the increases in the 2013 budget is for education, doubling from $800 to $1,600. The district staff plans to visit schools and have a presence at various events such as Summerfest.
Other budget items include: $3,500 for insurance; $14,000 for surveillance; $40,000 for the aerial spray program (includes pilot, insurance, plane hangar expenses); $33,000 in employee benefits; $66,400 in permanent salaries and $65,000 in seasonal wages; $35,000 for capital outlay.
The total expenditures for 2013 are approximately $470,000, and the fund balance at the end of the year is projected to be $478,000.
The board had a comprehensive discussion with Hicks over a proposed 3.3 percent increase in bookkeeping costs from WSB for 2013. The total would be $13,000 for next year. The board members said they were not convinced they should increase the bookkeeping costs every year and might consider taking the bookkeeping to bid.
Hicks said WSB maintained the same fee for two years, and WSB is already giving the mosquito district a discounted rate. She added that the company’s insurance costs are going up 23 percent. She said WSB’s biggest cost is its employees, and the company was able to give them 3-4 percent in raises.
“Without employees, we don’t have a business,” she said. “We do have costs that go up and we have to cover our costs also.”
She added that she appreciated that the board was trying to save taxpayers money as well.