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Trinidad council hears about budget halfway through year: So far, so good- revenue is up, expenditures are down

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — With the year half spent, the Trinidad City Council received a short update on the budget during the second regular meeting for June. City Manager Gabe Engeland, released a few figures showing the city has brought in more revenue than it had expected.

The report came at the start of the meeting and began with the introduction of the city’s new finance director, Cheryl Navarette. Navarette, the wife of Las Animas County’s Undersheriff, Derek Navarette, worked as the assistant county manager for Colfax, New Mexico, for the past seven years. She came on board just as the Trinidad’s audit was beginning.

Engeland then got down to numbers, explaining the report was from a very high level view concerning the general fund only and that details will be reported during the first city council meeting in July.

In the first quarter, January through March, the city had budgeted about $2 million in expenditures. Current expenditures came in at about $1.8 million, putting the city ahead by nearly $200,000 on the expenditure side of the books.

On the revenue side, the city had expected to collect about $2 million, and actually collected about $2.2 million. Combined with the $200,000 in savings on expenditures, the total puts the city up about $400,000 in the general fund.

Power and light, in the utilities account, is up about $20,000. However more power is used during the summer than in the winter so those figures could change.

Water reflects about the same as power and light. However reporting issues are starting to surface, which could change numbers in the revenues to expenditure columns.

Council delayed action on several items in the consent agenda until all council members are present. Mayor Phil Rico and council members Liz Torres and Carlos Lopez were absent from the meeting.

The delayed or tabled items were: the Welcome Center Statement of work renewal, a liquor store license renewal request by Trinidad Beer, Liquor and Wine Depot, an approval of a master lease purchase agreement between the city and a tax-exempt leasing corporation for a new Starfire S4XL street sweeper acquired by the city on a five-year lease totaling $237,262.20. Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Mattie noted that the sum was large and the entire council should be present to vote on the approval.

Also delayed for the same reason, is the acceptance of a proposal from the Austin Peters Group for an approval of the professional services agreement for a “classification and compensation study” amounting to $31,410.

A public hearing for the consideration of an ordinance to repeal and re-enact a section of the Trinidad Municipal code concerning liquor consumption on the Trinidad Golf Course was opened. However no action was taken until the complete council convenes at the first July meeting. The public hearing remains open.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:35 p.m.