In eight years, City cuts 53 full time positions; has $3 million in operating reserves

(Sheridan, Wyo.) — Since 2008, the city has reduced its full time employee positions from 228 to 175, for an overall reduction in 53 employees, City of Sheridan Police Chief Rich Adriaens told the city council today. "We struggled and we did tough cuts, and we made the changes we needed to make to get where we are at now, which is in a solid position to look at some of the issues we have (today)," Adriaens said, at the first of what will likely be many budget planning work sessions for the upcoming fiscal year. Going into the fiscal year 2016-17 budget season, City's Finance and Administrative Services Director Jim Harmon says the city projects a fiscal year revenue in its general fund of $11.2 million. The enterprise fund is estimated at $12.5 million, and the general purpose "one cent" tax is projected to be $3.6 million. Specific purpose tax revenue is anticipated to be $3.2 million, with $15 million expected in grants, loans and all other income. The city also has about $3 million in reserves, which Harmon said represents about 26% of its operating budget. The city found ways to increase its efficiency, Adriaens said, in a number of ways. It combined its treasurer and city clerk positions, reduced water plant supervisors from two to one and combined three previous departments under one, calling the new department simply "customer service." "Customer services division—as I walk by today, it puts a smile on my face every time I see that that is really three divisions in one," Adriaens said. "It is billing, it is collections, it is municipal court. It is working really well." The city has also updated facilities to be more energy efficient, and converted to natural gas use when possible. It has several online systems in place that require less staff time to maintain, including GIS services and online permitting. "There is a lot of cross-training going on. We have partnered with other divisions to make things run smoother," Adriaens said. #dally #news