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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of September 4 - 10, 2002


SV OKs $5.2 million budget

$3 million allocated to General Fund

"This is a year in which we’re having to make some very tough choices about where our taxpayers’ dollars are going."


Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley City Council Thursday unanimously approved a more than $5.2 million city budget for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.

The panel voted 4-0 to adopt a new ordinance allocating $5,270,441 for city expenditures from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2003, including $2,939,109 for spending via the city’s General Fund.

In addition to the approximately $3 million General Fund—from which virtually all discretionary spending is done—the overall budget includes an additional $157,323 to replace city vehicles and equipment, $661,338 for debt service, $640,500 for capital improvements and $872,171 for the city’s Street Fund to maintain city roadways.

However, Mayor David Wilson said the entire $640,500 allocated for capital improvements would be carried over to the 2003-2004 budget because the city is planning no major improvement projects for the coming fiscal year.

Wilson noted that the city will likely schedule several new capital projects for 2004, including one to resurface Elkhorn Road south of its northern intersection with Village Loop Road.

In reviewing the proposed budget before the vote, Wilson explained that the document:

  • Authorized no new city staff positions, but did propose $72,000 be set aside for city staffers to receive pay raises during the fiscal year. The city plans to keep approximately 25 full-time employees and 25 part-time employees for the year.

  • Allocated no money for land acquisition, although the city does have approximately $200,000 held in reserve for that purpose.

  • Proposed no increases to the salaries for the mayor or city council members.

  • Called for "no big capital projects."

The approved budget was only altered slightly from the version presented to the council by City Administrator Dan Pincetich.

Councilman Kevin Laird asked that $15,500 designated in the General Fund to support the Wood River Rideshare Program be withheld.

He said he thought the program’s 20-or-so active participants were "not enough" to justify the subsidy.

Laird noted that he thought the city would show adequate support for public transportation by maintaining a $20,000 allocation to the Peak Bus program and a separate $329,000 appropriation to the KART bus system.

Councilman Latham Williams agreed. "This is a year in which we’re having to make some very tough choices about where our taxpayers’ dollars are going," he said.

Before approving the budget, council members agreed to withhold the money and redirect it into the city’s "contingency reserve" fund.

In drafting the 2002-2003 budget, Pincetich anticipated that local-option-tax revenues will not increase during the 2002-2003 fiscal year.

The taxes are estimated to bring in $1,120,500 for both the current and upcoming fiscal years, down from more than $1.3 million in 2000-2001.

However, Pincetich predicted an appreciable increase in revenues from property taxes—which are set to go up 3 percent—and state funds derived from sales taxes.

The approved budget includes only small increases from last year for the city police and fire departments.

The police department will receive $720,068 in funding, while the fire department will be allocated $354,388.

As part of a separate vote last week, directors of the Sun Valley Water and Sewer District approved a $2,861,800 budget for the 2002-2003 fiscal year.

The district did not propose water- or sewer-fee increases for residential customers.



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