by Brian Orr
WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council started their meeting off on Tuesday evening to the heavy news that the City finances are going to require extreme restructuring in order to remain solvent in 2010.
City Administrator Alan Hein and Finance Director Krystal Vigil laid it all outto the Finance Committee in a three and half hour powerpoint presentation on Monday. “Walsenburg must stem its cash flow problems,” according to Finance Chair Larry Patrick. “The current revenues cannot pay for keeping up the maintenance of the City.”
Part of the City’s financial restructuring will include a 25 percent reduction in the City’s workforce; including both outside crews and office staff. In all, about ten people stand to lose their jobs. Other departments may find themselves combined, such as the inside and outside water and sewer crews.
Reasons given for the fiscal crisis stretch from the national economic depression, to the warm weather, to a drastic drop in sales tax revenue.
Final budget considerations and changes will be discussed next council meeting, but the council already cleared Hein to reduce the workforce by 25 percent and take whatever other steps he deems neccesary to correct the City’s finances. When asked when these changes might be implemented, Hein replied, “In the near future.”
In other business, the City accepted the bid from Cipher Enterprises to build the coffer dam and replace the valves at Martin Lake, for $324,784. Hein reported that the drawdown at the lake is proceeding smoothly, with the water level now having dropped down around seven feet.