On Tuesday, Mat-Su Borough Manager John Moosey submitted his proposed Borough budget for the next fiscal year. The proposal comes in at $403 million dollars, which is about $20 million less than the budget for the current year.
The largest expenditure in the proposed budget is just over $269 million for schools in the Borough. $55.9 million is allocated for borough operations, making it the second highest expenditure. Debt service is the third most expensive item, at $34.3 million.
The M/V Susitna continues to be a major expense for the Borough as well. The proposed budget estimates more than $700,000 in maintenance and other costs associated with the ferry prototype. That number represents approximately half of the budget for the current year. The Borough is continuing to attempt to sell the ferry or give it to another government entity.
At Tuesday’s budget presentation, Borough Manager Moosey also said that the Borough will lose $1 million in revenue sharing funds from the state. He says the change is accounted for in the budget, and will be considered in future budgets, as it could mean a gradual stepping-down of the program over the course of a few years.
Included in the budget is the revenue projection for the Talkeetna Sewer and Water utility. For the current budget year, the total revenue budget was set at $307, which included a $75,000 infusion that Assembly Member Vern Halter pushed through the Borough Assembly. Given current rates, the total revenue is estimated for next fiscal year is estimated at $245,000, and expenses are estimated at about $330,000. Both of those numbers are subject to change once the current assessment of the utility’s finances and operation is completed this year.
The Borough Manager’s proposed budget is subject to amendment by the Borough Assembly. The Assembly will hold public meetings on May 1st in Wasilla, May 2nd in Willow, and May 5th in Palmer to listen to input from Mat-Su residents.