By Lanny Sloan
Star Valley town manager
It is budget time in Star Valley, and just like every other town and city in Arizona we are required to have our tentative budget adopted by July 17. However, because this is the first actual budget based on real numbers, this year's budget process in Star Valley is a little different than those in other towns.
When the Budget Committee started work on the budget they came up with a small problem. We had no idea of how much money we had to work with. A large part of the revenue the Town receives is based on the number of people actually living in Star Valley. The more people, the more money we receive as our share from the State. Because we are a new town, no one knew the true population of Star Valley.
Our estimate was about 2,500 people, but the State was guessing about 1,500 people, which makes a big difference in the amount of money we receive. With a little gentle prodding to the U. S. Census Bureau, however, we were able to obtain the official count of people living in Star Valley. This arrived Wednesday, and we can now happily state that, according to the U. S. Government, there are 2,006 people living in our fine town.
Now that we know how much money the Town will have to spend we can finish preparing the budget. As with all cities and towns, we cannot spend more than we have. And because we have a grand total of two paid town employees, the majority of funds in this year's budget will be spent on services for the community and items needed to get Star Valley operating the way the community desires. This year's budget will include funds that will be used to pay Gila County and others for services needed by our town. These services may include law enforcement services, judicial services, building safety services and road maintenance services.
We are also proposing that money be spent for the land for the site of the new Town Hall and the expense of purchasing a building and placing the building on the new site. Also proposed is money for a well that will serve the town property, but be large enough to be used for future fire fighting. We also need all the rules, regulations and procedures that are necessary to provide the services to the residents. This all costs money, so our first budget will be tight, but we feel the money will be spent wisely.
The budget will be published in the newspaper and there will be a Public Hearing so that the Council can hear what the residents think of the proposed budget. This is an opportunity for everyone to get involved.
Star Valley is a true community of the people, and only your involvement will keep it that way.