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Friday — February 13, 2004


First quarter report reflects growth

Hailey departments show revue increases

"The city budgeted $96,000 in refuse revenue for the year, but revenues could be as high as $120,000 by year’s end as the spring construction season ramps up. (Construction waste) dumpsters fill up when construction is busy."

HEATHER DAWSON, Hailey city clerk

Express Staff Writer

For the first quarter of fiscal year 2003, October through December, the City of Hailey has reported expenses at or below projected costs, while revenues in several departments showed heightened activity.

The quarterly financial report on the $9.6 million city budget was approved Monday, Jan. 9, by the Hailey City Council.

Although local property tax revenue has increased only 3 percent over 2002, revenues in development related categories are up significantly. Despite dramatic increases in property values within Hailey over the past year, state law caps the amount of increased revenues cities can obtain from property taxes. However, changes across the board from the previous year indicate demand for growth in the city.

The most dramatic change for the quarter was the increase in development application fees in the city’s planning department. Total fees paid for the quarter were $23,202, up $14,786 for the same quarter last year. The current income is already 16 percent more than the $20,000 in development fee revenues projected for the year.

The fire department is on schedule for projected new construction fire permit revenues in the first quarter. The department has received $150 of the projected $600 fee budget. Last year at this time the fund had only $65 in it, and big construction months are still ahead, said Hailey City Clerk Heather Dawson.

Other revenue categories that are directly impacted by the time of year are property tax revenues and income from the rubbish franchise with Wood River Rubbish.

Property tax revenues for the quarter have reached only 10 percent of what is projected for the year, but Dawson said most homeowners make large payments in January and July, when the tally should bring revenues in line with projections. Property taxes are expected to be $1.4 million or 19 percent of the annual budget.

Individual monthly trash bills have decreased about 50 cents with the new franchise the city negotiated last April, but revenues for the quarter were $31,000 up from $13,000 in the same quarter last year.

"A heavier than expected fall construction season was probably responsible for the increase," Dawson said. "The city budgeted $96,000 in refuse revenue for the year, but revenues could be as high as $120,000 by year’s end as the spring construction season ramps up. (Construction waste) dumpsters fill up when construction is busy."

Building permit revenues were already 43 percent of projected revenues for the year in the first quarter according to the report and up $35,000 from $51,000 in the first quarter of 2002 to $86,000 for the first quarter of 2003.

Water and Sewer hookups are one third of projections for the year and also significantly higher than 2002, but Dawson said the slower winter months could result in utility connection fees matching projections for the year.

A final indicator from the first quarter report of growth trends in the city was the dramatic increase in sign permit fees. In the first quarter the city had already received 100 percent of projected $400 annual revenues, an increase of nearly $280 from the same period last year.


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