City’s annual budget to include major capital projects

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ Staff Writer

Clovis city commissioners voted Tuesday night to approve a $53.9 million budget for the 2004-05 fiscal year.

Tuesday’s meeting took less than 10 minutes since most of the discussion took place in a July 20 daytime budget hearing, commissioners said. The revised budget adopted Tuesday by the commission projects revenue of $48.1 million with a $5.8 million deficit.

The city had an unaudited cash balance of $23.3 million on July 1, according to the revised budget, and will drop to $17.4 million by June 30 of next year. Last year’s budget also projected a deficit, though much smaller: The 2003-04 budget planned revenue of $29.9 million and expenses of $30.3 million, for a total deficit of $350,000.

Assistant city manager Joe Thomas said the increased expenses and revenues are largely due to major capital projects for which the city has obtained a number of grants.
Those projects include a $6 million sewage pretreatment plant, a $2.6 million sewage lagoon and pipeline, $3.5 million for the Clovis civic center, $1 million for drainage, $1.2 million for airport grants, and $500,000 for water projects.

Mayor pro-tem Kevin Duncan, who presided at the meeting in the absence of Mayor David Lansford, said the budget deficit doesn’t indicate financial problems.

“We’re not in any shape, form or fashion in any trouble at all,” Duncan said. “We’re bonding money for the cheese plant and we have full confidence in this direction.”

Duncan noted that the budget includes items such as the proposed civic center that haven’t yet been approved, but said the city needs to include the money in the budget to make sure it’s available.