PINEDALE – Like many municipalities and counties in Wyoming, Big Piney has kept a tight budget going into the coming fiscal year. General fund revenues fell this year for the town, and expenses in infrastructure and other areas have gone up. The town continues to work toward reducing costs, but with a construction project looming and its enterprise funds not yet self-sustaining, it may be a few years before it gets there.
When the Big Piney Town Council approved the budget in June, it expected revenues around $2,349,886 and expenditures at nearly $3 million, meaning more than $600,000 will need to be taken from reserve funds.
The town has four funds: general, recreation, water and sewer. The last two are considered enterprise funds and are required by law to be self-sustaining. The town is working toward that end, but each still needs some money from the general fund. The town is in the process of evaluating its fee structure and will likely raise rates to ensure the funds meet the legal requirements in the future.
The budget’s biggest line item is capital expenditures, with around $2.5 million going to the Big Piney to Marbleton sewer project. Most of that money is coming from the town’s general fund, but $1 million was provided by a grant from the State Loan and Investment Board. Former Town Clerk Jackie Arthur noted this should be the final year of large infrastructure projects.
The project will link the Big Piney sewer system to Marbleton through a lift station. Mayor Ben Jenkins told the Examiner the Big Piney sewer lagoons are at capacity and would cost a prohibitive amount to refurbish and maintain. Marbleton’s sewer ponds, on the other hand, are newer and have the capacity to handle not only Big Piney’s waste but also growth from both towns in the
future. For the complete article see the 07-22-2014 issue.
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