The Commerce Journal

November 7, 2013

Examining the new Commerce city budget

By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — The budget passed by the Commerce City Council for the currently fiscal year represents little change for last year,

The budget projects $4,691,240 in revenue and $4,616,331 in expenditures for a surplus of $74,909. The city saw a surplus of $385,987 over the last fiscal year.

The public library’s budget, which was a hot button issue last year, is $67,430, close to its total in 2011-12 and a $10,000 increase over last year. Parks and Recreation’s budget was cut approximately $70,000 from fiscal year 2013, which is still more than the department actually spent.

General Fund

The general fund’s revenue was increased by 0.78 percent from FY2013. Property taxes went down from $1.687 million to $1.609 million. Sales taxes were budgeted the same total as last year’s: $775,0000.

In this fiscal year, Hydro Aluminium will come completely on the city’s tax rolls and will be annexed into the city before the end of 2013. A FEMA grant of $183,750 will help the Commerce Fire Department train and hire part-time firefighters.

Budgeted expenses also increased for the general fund by 2.9 percent. The city is planning a $19,600 increase in funding for fuel for the city’s departments and $36,317 in additional funding to staff and operate the municipal court. The city is saving $42,000 this year due to the city pool’s closure.

The city also purchased a new pickup truck for public works and replaced two police cruisers at a cost of $27,326 of additional expense.

Water Fund

The city is expecting a 10 percent decrease in water collections for FY2014, although Cooper Lake revenue remains the same at $311,000. Budgeted expenses also decreased by 17 percent, due to the restructure of bond principal payments, and reductions in reservoir maintenance ($72,659), clarifier maintenance contract ($12,245), chemical/medical supplies ($15,000) and electric utility costs ($25,000).


Revenues are expected to improve in FY2014 by 8 percent, due to an increase of wastewater treatment costs collected by the city. The wastewater expenses are budgeted to decrease by 13 percent.

Note: Fiscal year 2014 (FY2014) runs from Sept. 1, 2013 until Aug. 31, 2014).