Morrison town board approves budget

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By Deborah Swearingen

Morrison’s town board on Dec. 5 unanimously approved the 2018 budget, a spending plan that will require the town to transfer approximately $624,000 from its reserves.

The town expects to begin 2018 with $4.45 million in its general fund balance and $1.38 million in its utility fund balance. With $2.34 million estimated in general fund revenues and $2.96 million estimated in expenditures, Morrison plan to transfer $624,261 from its general fund reserves. Doing so would leave approximately $3.82 million in the town’s general fund balance at the year’s end.

With $857,618 in revenue and $833,600 in expenditures, the town predicts a surplus of $24,018 in its utility fund and will maintain its general fund balance of $1.38 million.

While one community member, who spoke at November’s public budget hearing, worried about the transfer from reserves, Mayor Sean Forey justified it, citing the town’s solid financial position and its tendency to spend less than it budgeted. Among other things, Morrison relies heavily on revenue from sales tax and court fines. In total, the town expects to bring in about $1.4 million from the two.

“You know, things could happen,” Forey said. “Maybe it will snow a lot, and people won’t come to Morrison to eat and drink. Maybe the concert schedule up at Red Rocks will be cut in half.

“I don’t think any of those things are going to happen, so there’s going to be a surplus this year.”

Money allocated for projects

Money has been allocated for a variety of general fund capital projects, including the south walkway project which would build a trail down Highway 8. The town budgeted $200,000 for the project in 2017 but didn’t use any of the money, partially due to a grant denial from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The same amount has been set for 2018.

Morrison is setting aside $70,000 for downtown improvements and urban design — approximately $50,000 more than the town spent in 2017. A large chunk of that money will go toward beautification of the town’s entryway near Ozzi’s where Morrison Road splits into Bear Creek Avenue and Mount Vernon Avenue.

The town budgeted $90,000 for a police vehicle, the same amount it allocated in 2017 but didn’t use. It also recently added in a $191,282 expense for improvements at the Morrison Natural History Museum.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042. Follow her on Twitter @djswearingen.