Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010 | 8:32 p.m.
Revenue came into Boulder City more slowly than expected this fiscal year, the city manager reported at Tuesday’s council meeting, prompting the city to prepare for a worsening problem and minimal improvement next year.
Boulder City planned for about $22 million in revenue for fiscal year 2010, which ended in June, and came up almost $2 million short, City Manager Vicki Mayes told the council. Dwindling returns from licenses and permits, two city-run golf courses and various taxes accounted for much of the loss.
To stay within its budget, the city left vacant full-time positions open, reduced hours for part-time staff and cut operating costs for the police and fire departments over the last year, Mayes said.
Licenses and permits generated $100,000 less than predicted. Property taxes yielded almost $300,000 less than expected. Sales tax brought in about $600,000 less than budgeted. And the golf courses generated $600,000 while the city spent $1.3 million to operate them, as it is still paying off the lease for Boulder Creek Golf Club's land.
Fortunately, Mayes said, the city managed to avoid layoffs.
Two council members – Linda Strickland and Travis Chandler – have supported a ballot initiative to limit Boulder City to owning only one golf course, ostensibly leading to the sale of one of the two properties. Mayor Roger Tobler and councilmen Duncan McCoy and Cam Walker have been opposed to the idea of a sale. At its last meeting on Aug. 10, a split vote by the city council (with Strickland and Chandler opposed) allowed City Attorney Dave Olsen to pursue a lawsuit challenging the ballot initiative.
To compound the city's budget problems, an expected $3 million in lease payments from Sol Bio, which planned to build a solar power plant in Eldorado Valley, is more than six months overdue. If the company fails to pay its bill, Boulder City may have to take more drastic measures to meet its budget, Mayes said.
With the state Legislature trying to close a $3 billion budget hole next year, and a possible solution being state funding cuts for local governments, the city will have similar challenges in the next fiscal year, Mayes said.
Boulder City is budgeted to spend $22.7 million, or $3 million more than it spent this year, in fiscal year 2011, according to city documents.