Preliminary budget has county tapping over $700,000 in reserves

By David Rinehart –(Published: Oct. 12, 2017) The county will have to tap reserves by over $700,000 next year if the final budget, to be approved in December, looks anything like the preliminary budget County Administrator John Galusha turned in Tuesday.

Galusha said the revenue will take a hit because overall county valuations are down. “We’re going to have a three percent increase in insurance costs,” Galusha said of known increased expenditures.

“It’s ugly,” Commissioner Max Vezzani said. The final budget will be approved December 12, with a public hearing December 5.

“We will be working on this until adoption,” Galusha concluded.

In other business, the Board of Huerfano County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a $4,220 expenditure, to be matched by $4,220 from the Cuchara Foundation, to pay Robles Remodel & Roofing to repair the roof at the Day Lodge at Cuchara Mountain Park. The BOCC also waived the building permit fees for the project, “We would just be paying ourselves,” Vezzani said.

Property tax collection was also reduced by the state Property Tax Administrator granting District One’s request for tax-exempt status for their property at 512 Main Street in Walsenburg. The ruling is retroactive so the county will issue abatement refund checks to District One of $573.50 for 2015 and $1,473.26 for 2016.