Casper Council Rolls Forward $44 Million in Uncompleted Projects
On Tuesday, the Casper city council voted to roll forward $43,778,435 in uncompleted projects from the previous fiscal year into 2023.
The $43 million has already been allocated last year, so the council doesn't need to authorize new money, it only means that some projects weren't able to be completed in the previous fiscal year, so they need authorization from the council to continue working on them this year.
Some of that money is going towards paying for firefighter pensions, $4,956,472, $538,000 for public safety supplies and overtime, and $647,282 is going towards the balefill fund.
Councilmember Bruce Knell asked city manager Carter Napier what the likelihood is that those older projects will be completed.
Napier said in response he's optimistic that issues related to supply chains and equipment will be resolved in the future allowing more projects to be completed.
"I certainly think that with respect to the supply line issues that we're struggling with right now, and the lead time for equipment that we're dealing with and so on," Napier said. "I'm optimistic that eventually, that will improve and these kind of things, and these orders and projects and materials and so on will loosen up, and we'll be able to have a more effective means for getting projects done. Because I don't like the idea of coming to you with a $100 million rollover request for projects that have been three years in the making, pursuant to a council three years earlier that had authorized the project. And it starts to get really confusing and the budget you pass more meaningless as it relates to all that capital."
Knell said in response that he is worried that because of inflation, the cost to do these projects will increase, meaning they would need to allocate more money to those projects, as is the case with the one-way to two-way conversion.
Napier said that he agrees it is an issue of costs increasing the longer projects go on.
"I think that is an issue and our money goes less further the longer we have to wait to get projects done and buy materials and so forth. It is a concern, and I think it's a legitimate discussion."
The council agreed to discuss the issue of projects taking a long time to be completed at a future work session.
While the council agreed to roll forward the old projects into the new budget cycle, Knell abstained.