After four budget workshops and two hours of intensive discussion Thursday night, the Village of Bosque Farms has a $2,944,099 budget in place.
The village budget will now be sent to Santa Fe on Monday for approval by the Department of Finance and Administration.
The village council estimates that $2,949,081 in projected revenue will cover the new budget. However, in order to reach a balanced budget, $80,000 in cuts were made, which followed prior cuts.
The police department will be able to purchase two new cars, valued at $19,000 each, and another $40,000 was approved for a needed computer system.
The projected budget for the water and sewer project fund was set at $79,000. By using a private contractor, Councilor David Linthicum suggested, $20,000 could be cut from the projected amount. Mayor Roger Baldwin, along with Councilors Ginger Eldridge and Wayne Ake, agreed. Councilor Ken Hays was not present at Thursday’s meeting.
In going over the proposed budget item by item, the council realized the projected revenue from the gasoline tax was underestimated. Already the tax has raised $69,840 this year, while the projected annual revenue was set at $74,000. Last year, the revenue was $80,000.
“I think we are low on this,” Eldridge said. “We should up this to $78,000.”
With that recommendation, the council raised the projected gas tax revenue from $74,000 to $78,000.
Despite a tight budget, Police Chief Louis Burkhard will still be able to order two needed police cars by June 24, before the price goes up. The cars will then need preventative cages and other equipment installed, which will cost about $1,000 per car.
Because of the new cars, the police vehicle maintenance fund was cut from $15,000 to $11,000.
“We cut it to balance the budget,” Baldwin said. “We’re buying two new cars and getting rid of two of the really old cars. We have a very tight budget.”
Baldwin said he hopes that the elimination of the older police cars will cut down on maintenance expenses.
Jane Fritz, the new clerk administrator, found herself in the middle of the budget process with just one-and-a-half weeks on the job. She was called upon to verify salary figures and other information during Thursday’s meeting.
“I really can’t give an opinion on this budget,” Fritz said. “I really didn’t have the time to sit down and study the history. Normally, we’ll pull up a work sheet that will give us three years history.
“The council members really worked hard on this, and they worked together,” Fritz said. “That’s impressive.”
Fritz brings 18 years of experience to her position, having served as financial administrator for Logan, N.M., for 11 years, for Clayton for 3.5 years and for Raton for another 3.5 years.
“I’ve learned the hard way how things are done,” Fritz said when asked what she could contribute to the village. “In 18 years, I’ve seen how auditors make recommendations of the way things are done. I am hoping some of that will benefit the village.”