The Town of Camp Verde is working with an expected inflow of funds to the tune of $8,405,425 for the 2017-18 fiscal year — only about $100 more than what the town audited for 2015-16 and budgeted for 2016-17.
Town Finance Director Mike Showers went over the basic structure of the next budget during a budget forum Monday, May 8, at the Camp Verde Community Gym. Few community members other than town employees attended, as Showers noted, joking that it must mean the town is doing a good job with its resources.
“[We want] to make our budget process available to the public ... before the council has even said how they feel about the budget,” Showers said.
Showers said that inflows — what the town takes in through sales tax, franchise fees, intergovernmental revenues, licenses and permits, fines and forfeitures, service charges, grants and donations and miscellaneous funds — are only up about 1 percent from 2016-17.
According to Showers, the town expects a 13 percent economic increase over the course of next year and has budgeted for an 8 percent increase.
Outflows — what the town pays out to general government, the magistrate court, public works, community development, the marshal’s office, the library, parks and recreation, debt and capital improvement — are budgeted at $8,218,355. This figure is over $850,000 more than what the town audited for 2015-16 but nearly $400,000 less than it budgeted for 2016-17.
Of the town departments to see more than a 5 percent change in funding for 2017-18, the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office will be the most impacted, with $2,542,290 allocated — a reduction of nearly $280,000, or 10 percent, from 2016-17.
Camp Verde Parks and Recreation, meanwhile, will get a bump in funding, with an expected allocation of $350,580 — approximately $52,000, or 17 percent, more than this year.
Likewise, general administration will receive $1,993,885, a raise of 5 percent and almost $90,000 more than in 2016-17.
A total of $800,000 in general funds and revenue from the Highway User Revenue Fund will go toward capital improvement projects: $450,000 toward road maintenance. $250,000 toward the community park off State Route 260 behind the Verde Ranger Station.
- $20,000 toward Rezzonico Park improvements.
- $80,000 toward miscellaneous projects.
Camp Verde in indebted $7,142,556 with an anticipated debt payment of $948,753 for 2017-18.
The majority of debt — nearly $6 million — is due to construction of the new library facility, the CVMPO refinance and the sanitary district Intergovernmental Agreement.
According to data compiled by Showers, compared to Camp Verde, Clarkdale’s debt is approximately two times as high and Cottonwood’s nearly 7.5 times as high.
Nonetheless, Showers said that straight comparisons cannot be easily made between municipalities because of different factors.
In particular, the broader the spectrum of services a community provides, the further its debt will be driven up.
“It’s extremely important to remember that it’s difficult to compare cities .... and say which one is good and which one is bad,” Showers said. “We’re right in the mix [but] we’re really low when it comes to debt.”