PERALTA—The town of Peralta budget wasn’t hit as hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as other municipalities.
Steve Robbins, the town of Peralta’s treasurer and deputy clerk, said their gross receipts tax has stayed steady since April.
“It’s on a 60-day delay, so our GRT from June was from when everything was closed down during April, and we received over $65,000 in June. We received $60,000 in July,” Robbins said. “So far, the GRT hasn’t had that much of an impact. It’s pretty much equal to what we received a year ago.”
He said the town is trying not to overspend on anything and has been keeping a close eye on its expenses.
Due to the pandemic, work has been halted for some of the municipality’s projects, which means the funds are going to be carried over from the 2020 fiscal year to this year.
The state didn’t take any funds that it appropriated to the town from the February legislative session, which means Peralta still has money for the wastewater, street projects and the community center.
The town’s projected total revenue for this year is $5,562,341, which includes revenue from capital projects such as municipal streets, $1,647,815; waste water (sewer), $992,353; and the community center, $1,022,000.
“There were no salary increases for staff included in the budget; we are at full staff, so no need to hire at this time or in the future,” Robbins said. “Staff was coming to work every day during the lock down, but we did adhere to the state requirements and were not open to the public during May and June.”
Many of the town’s projects were on hold during the lock down due to the state’s COVID-19 requirements but are on their way to beginning again.
“The uncertainty if there would be a decrease in GRT revenue did cause us to decrease expenses in payroll, facilities upgrades and general supplies,” Robbins said. “The waste water project is back in process and we are slowly beginning to continue our street projects, mainly with La Ladera improvements. The community center is also slowly moving forward with design.”
Total expenses for this fiscal year are projected to be $5,908,853, which includes expenses associated with municipal streets, $1,890,698; waste water (sewer), $1,020,053; and the community center, $971,959, which is still in the design and architectural stage.
“As far as the budget, we’re taking it one month at a time. That said, we are still being cautiously optimist and taking things slowly,” Robbins said. “Everybody’s kind of holding their breath to see what happens between now and December. We’re just trying our best.”