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Casper City Council to vote on $166M budget Tuesday; 25% of spending will be on capital projects

Midwest Avenue reconstruction in spring 2019. The city's FY 2023 budget proposal includes spending to finish the final phase of Midwest Avenue reconstruction. (Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The City of Casper is seeking authority to spend up to $165,930,287 during fiscal year 2023, including authority to spend $41,217,762 on capital projects. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

The Casper City Council will consider adopting the new budget during its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 21. The city’s overall spending request is about $19 million greater than the initial ~$147 million spending request in the budget the City Council adopted to begin the current fiscal year.

The bigger spending authority request is largely driven by a more ambitious capital spending plan for FY 2023. The ~$41 million capital plan accounts for 24.8% of the city’s overall spending authority request in the new budget. The capital spending request is about $13 million greater than the ~$28.15 million capital spending plan included in the current year’s budget as initially adopted by the City Council in summer 2021.

The city’s comparatively frugal spending on capital during the current fiscal year allows the city to pursue the more ambitious spending plan for FY 2023 without dipping into any operational or statutory reserves because it saved up money during the current fiscal year, according to City Manager Carter Napier.

While the city’s proposed budget would allow spending to outpace anticipated revenues by about $5.9 million during FY 2023, the city won’t necessarily spend the full amount it would be authorized to spend. The ~$41 million capital plan includes about $11.5 million in money that would come from grants. While about $4 million of that grant funding is already secure, the other ~$7.5 million is grant funding the city is pursuing, according to Napier.

If those grants aren’t secured, the projects won’t happen, Napier told the City Council at a work session in May. The city’s approach to budgeting is to only spend on capital projects based on money it has on hand, Napier said.

The anticipated General Fund revenues under the proposed budget total $51,926,377, matching the city’s spending authority request out of the General Fund.

The city is proposing a 3.5% cost of living adjustment for most employees to help them deal with added costs of living due to inflation under the new budget. The city is also proposing raises for many city employees, with 5% being the most common wage increase employees will see if the budget is adopted.

The City Council will vote on a resolution to adopt the new budget during its regular meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 21 at City Hall, 200 N. David St. Residents will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed budget during the budget hearing before the City Council votes.

The resolution the City Council will consider Tuesday and a memo from city staff explaining it are as follows:

A summary of the proposed budget included in the minutes from the City Council’s June 7 meeting is also available: