Log In

Reset Password

Mancos trustees pass livestock regulations, discuss ‘17 budget

Board members also discuss 2017 budget

After discussing the issue for years, Mancos trustees passed an ordinance regulating in-town livestock at their meeting Wednesday.

The measure passed on a 3-1 vote, with Trustee Cindy Simpson voting against. Mayor Pro Tem Fred Brooks and Trustee Lorraine Becker were absent from the meeting. Trustee Ed Hallam thanked the board and town staff for their work on the ordinance, which he said will be a work in progress.

“It’s still not perfect, but it’s an improvement,” Hallam said. “It needed to be done.”

No one spoke during a public hearing on the ordinance.

The ordinance allows town residents in any zoning district to keep up to 12 chicken hens, 12 quail, 12 rabbits and one rooster without a permit. Structures housing animals must be set back 30 feet from the property line. No beehives are allowed.

People keeping animals who are not currently in compliance with the ordinance must comply within 90 days. No more than 15 total animals will be permitted on a property, including cats and dogs. People may keep up to five adult dogs on their property. People keeping more than five dogs must pursue a kennel permit.

Animal structures are considered accessory structures and must follow setback rules in the land use code. Existing structures that do not conform will not be required to be moved unless they become a nuisance. Odors, manure and noise also are addressed in the ordinance and must be kept under control.

Trustee Simpson voted against the ordinance because she felt no roosters should be allowed in town. However, other trustees felt allowing one rooster was a fair compromise.

Board members agreed that the ordinance might need changes in the future.

“It’s a good start,” Mayor Queenie Barz said.

Phillips presents budget

Also Wednesday, Town Administrator Andrea Phillips presented a draft 2017 budget for the board’s consideration. Trustees started meeting with town staff in August to begin discussing the budget. Trustees did not take a vote on the budget on Wednesday, but a final town budget must be adopted by Dec. 15.

The total proposed capital and operational budget is $2,895,003, a 15 percent increase from the 2016 budget. The total general fund budget is $1,552,524, and of that amount, $371,791 is set aside for capital projects.

About 60 percent of revenues ($789,371) in the general fund comes from sales, property and other taxes, down 1 percent from 2016, according to town documents. About 14 percent of revenue ($177,793) comes from internal transfers, down 23 percent from last year; 7 percent ($95,000) comes from licenses and permits, up 23 percent from last year; 2 percent ($27,500) comes from public safety, up 28 percent from last year; and the remaining 18 percent (240,146) comes from miscellaneous revenue sources, up 146 percent from 2017, according to town documents. General fund revenue is up about 9 percent ($65,309) from 2016.

Just under a third of the general fund is spent in the town administrative department, about $474,158. The administrative budget is 20 percent higher than 2016 and accounts for a new position as the town plans to hire a special projects and planning assistant in April. Staff will be awarded a 2 percent cost of living raise and a 1 percent merit raise based on recent evaluations, Phillips said. The town has 14 full-time employees on the books, as well as one part-time staff member and two seasonal parks maintenance employees.

A quarter of the general fund, $387,986, will be spent on public safety, which is 10 percent higher than that department’s 2016 budget and accounts for an additional marshal’s deputy hired this year. Twenty percent ($318,850) of the general fund will be spent on the street department, a 119 percent increase from 2016; 11 percent ($171,493) on public works administration, up 8 percent from last year; 8 percent ($121,682) on parks and recreation, a 48 percent increase from 2016; 4 percent ($64,855) on legislative, up 25 percent from last year; and 1 percent ($13,500) on planning and zoning, down 1 percent from 2016.

The total proposed capital improvements budget is $1,048,440 and accounts for grant-funded infrastructure improvements. Projects planned for 2017 include improvements to the town’s raw water system, replacement of an old water line on the south side of town, a pedestrian crossing at Beech Street and U.S. Highway 160, resurfacing of paved roads, equipment for the wastewater treatment plant and improvements to the water treatment plant. The town also will be saving for the Main Street bridge replacement project, as well as continuing to pay leases on two new vehicles for the marshal’s department.

Money from the general fund, the water and sewer enterprise funds, the conservation trust fund and town reserves will be used to fund the town cash matches for grants that will fund the majority of the projects.

“We need to catch up on infrastructure,” Phillips said. “It’s a balanced budget, but we’re planning to use cash reserves to budget it.”

Jan 11, 2017
Downtown Cortez road project includes medians, crosswalks