CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The cost of public defenders, rising staff salaries and IT maintenance are factors contributing to increased city department budget requests for Fiscal Year 2023.
The City of Cheyenne published its proposed FY 2023 general fund budget this week. As proposed, the budget is balanced at $59,636,705, up more than $5.7 million over the current fiscal year budget.
The city is hosting daily work sessions through May 13 to review the budget from noon to 1 p.m. in the Municipal Building Council Chambers at 2101 O’Neil Ave. The meetings are livestreamed on the city’s social media pages, through a Zoom link available at www.cheyennecity.org/ecm, and televised on Spectrum channel 192.
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Departmental requests discussed today included the Mayor’s Office, Compliance/IT, City Clerk and City Treasurer.
In discussing the Mayor’s Office’s proposed $6.8 million budget, Mayor Patrick Collins said, “I think the big change in our budget is just the cost of public defenders … and the thing I learned is that if the potential punishment for a person coming before the court includes jail time, they have to be offered an attorney, an attorney if they can’t afford one, and so we budgeted $110,400.”
The Mayor’s Office also proposed an additional $2,500 for its summer picnic. This event is usually paid for by funds from vending machines, but Collins said that won’t be possible going forward.
If approved as proposed, the Mayor’s Office budget would rise more than $1 million over the current fiscal year. A sizable portion of the Mayor’s Office budget is Compliance and IT, with budgets proposed at more than $1.9 million and nearly $1.3 million, respectively.
The Compliance and IT department’s main requests are related to daily operational needs and salaries for staff. For the building department, between $8,000 and $10,000 has been requested to be put toward cleaning several properties in the city. The largest request for IT was for network development, which came in at $677,000.
Animal Control did not have any outside-the-norm requests for its budget.
The City Clerk’s Office is asking for several increases for software maintenance, copier expenses and an increase in one staff member’s salary because they’ve taken on more responsibility. The office’s proposed budget is $808,530, an increase of $78,935 over the current budget.
The City Treasurer’s Office is proposing a budget of $847,039, an increase of $55,041.
“I feel my department is adequately staffed, but we will be facing some challenges in the next couple of years,” Treasurer Robin Lockman said.
The main portion of the budget upgrade will be for staff salaries, with the rest going toward software and other updates.