FARMINGTON — Farmington City Council met in a work session Tuesday morning to review the city's preliminary budget for the 2015 fiscal year, which includes adding hours to the city's library and additional temporary staff to the city.
"I was really pleased with the due diligence that the city council did in asking good questions," City Manager Rob Mayes said after the meeting, which lasted about five hours, "and in the end, the council had no changes to the proposed budget."
The meeting was the third budget hearing, and two more are planned. Mayes will now review the preliminary budget and submit an annual budget to city council late this month or next.
The city will then submit its adopted budget to the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration.
In the fiscal year 2015 preliminary budget, city officials plan to have the Farmington Public Library open for five additional hours a week, Mayes said. According to the preliminary budget, that will cost $49,587 a year.
The preliminary budget also includes plans to increase the library's circulation of books, DVDs, magazines and other media and publications, costing the city $105,820 annually.
The preliminary budget includes nearly 3 percent more revenue than the fiscal year 2014 adjusted budget. City officials project about $59.5 million in revenue in the preliminary budget, which is about $1.7 million more than the $57.8 million in revenue in the fiscal year 2014 adjusted budget.
Gross receipts taxes are also predicted to be about $2.4 million greater in the preliminary budget than the fiscal year 2014 adjusted budget, and Mayes said the city's GRT could increase with more local oil and gas drilling.
"In spite of the fact that there is a lot of optimism going forward, we are projecting tax revenue very conservatively next year," he said.
Expenditures are expected to be about $1.9 million more in the preliminary budget.
A 3 to 4 percent city-wide wage increase for city employees is one of the largest expenditures. In the preliminary budget, it's projected to cost more than $699,000.
About $162,000 is also in the preliminary budget to cover compensation, partial benefits and taxes for additional temporary staff.
Among the positions included in the budget are a head library custodian who will cost the city $22,800, a legal claims assistant at $23,745, an aide and custodian at the Farmington Indian Center at $6,643, two part-time animal care technicians at $23,125 and two part-time spay and neuter technicians at $41,600, according to the preliminary budget.