CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Following action from City Council members during their Wednesday Committee of the Whole meeting, funding will be allocated toward Ward improvement projects in the 2024 fiscal year.
The council is currently in the process of reviewing the 2024 proposed budget report, which determines how much funding city departments and projects will receive for the next fiscal year. The mayor, city treasurer and department directors begin compiling budget reports in January. The reports need to undergo multiple budget work sessions, amendments and readings by the council before they can be approved in June.
The committee voted 6–3 to amend the 2024 budget report and allow $184,184 in Miscellaneous Reserve funds to be added to the City Council’s budget. That amount will be split equally among Cheyenne’s three regions and used for Ward improvement projects.
The Miscellaneous fund accommodates for costs that are considered citywide, including city facility utilities, bond payments on the parking garage and property and liability insurance payments. Leftover Miscellaneous revenue expenses can be transferred by the council either to other departments and divisions or to a reserve fund.
Councilmember Ken Esquibel first moved an amendment to have $60,000 — or $20,000 for each Ward— allocated from the reserve funds. The Wards need to have money to fund projects such as sidewalk replacements and vegetation management, Esquibel said.
“This city’s just getting older and older and issues keep coming up again and again,” he said during the meeting. “I feel it’s necessary for us to have the ability to get projects done in our ward that we deem as necessary.”
Aldrich, who agreed with Esquibel, suggested the council should utilize all $184,445, with each Ward receiving roughly $60,000.
“I don’t know if $20,000 per ward is enough to fix any of those issues,” she said during the meeting.
Councilmember Pete Laybourn also agreed with that amount. By having adequate funds, councilmember won’t have to go through the city’s formal bidding process to fix small projects, he said. The $60,000 could also accommodate rising inflation rates and unexpected costs.
“Looking at inflation and costs associated with a lot of these project, I believe it’s correct to utilize these funds this way,” he said.
Some councilmembers, like Scott Roybal, disagreed with the allocation. Ward projects are usually small, Roybal said, and don’t require $60,000.
“I’m comfortable with $20,000,” he said during the meeting. “It’s for small projects, things we need to do today and tomorrow. I think we leave the others in there and if we need it we can sit down with the council and justify the project.”
Aldrich move to amend the transfer amount to $184,184. The amendment was seconded and passed, with Councilmembers Roybal, Mark Rinne and Tom Segrave voting against it.
The 2024 budget now has to go through a second and third reading by the council before the amendment can become official.