Council approves preliminary $6.4 million budget

By Curtis Riggs | July 15, 2009

Focus on marketing, Eight Sundial Circle building
CAREFREE – The Carefree Town Council unanimously approved the $6.4 million preliminary fiscal year 2009-10 budget last week.

Arizona law requires towns and cities to approve preliminary budgets in July and final budgets in August. The bottom line amount established by the council cannot change between approval of the preliminary and final budgets.

Late additions were finalizing the amount to be spent on marketing and a $6,000 adjustment for the promotion of street maintenance worker Travis Johnson to supervisor of Carefree's street maintenance crew.

The council also approved $12,000 to improve Internet/ telephone service and to hire an architect for the vacant Eight Sundial Circle building. There is also money in the budget to payoff the $500,000 building loan should the council vote to do so this year.

The preliminary budget lists Carefree's revenues at approximately $6.4 million and expenses at $6.2 million.

Councilman Doug Stavoe raised the issue of Carefree's sales-tax revenue, pointing out sales-tax revenue was down 38 percent and 31 percent from last April and May, respectively.

Despite Stavoe's concerns, Carefree Town Accountant Jim Keen said he is sticking by his estimate that sales-tax revenue will be down 17 percent from last year.

Stavoe said, "The key is not to spend the money even if it is budgeted." Mayor David Schwan said the preliminary budget "is as reasonable a budget the council can approve at this time."