Members of the Superior Board of Trustees and Town Manager Matt Magley last week reviewed a $53 million preliminary town budget proposal for 2021 in the first of likely two budget review meetings. This proposal consists of four separate entities, including the town of Superior, the interchange district, Superior urban renewal and Superior Metro District No. 1, the town’s utilities.

“We will only know the final details of the budget when it is adopted by the board,” Finance Director Paul Nilles wrote in an email. He thinks the adoption may not take place until Oct. 12.

The Thursday meeting, presented by Nilles and Accounting Manager Jeff Stone, focused on general revenues and a few of the general expenses for the town’s 2021 budget. Some of the things discussed during the meeting include government capital projects, utility maintenance, increasing funds to the Chamber of Commerce and staff changes.

Nilles proposed an expenditure of over $11.1 million in government capital projects. Line items that were discussed included an expansion of the town hall for $4.88 million, street maintenance projects for $4.2 million, a bike trail extension under the 88th Street bridge to Flatiron Crossing Drive for roughly $1.5 million and a design of Original Town electric line undergrounding.

“Government capital projects are funded primarily with sales and use tax revenue,” Nilles wrote. “If the town hall expansion project is approved, funding would be through a loan. We are planning on a Denver Regional Council of Governments grant of $1.05 million to help with the U.S. 36 bikeway extension project.”

A number of proposed parks and recreation projects would also receive funding in the upcoming year.

“We’re looking at spending almost collectively a quarter-million dollars a year in tree and shrub replacement,” said Nilles.

A proposed $6.7 million was mentioned in Nilles’ presentation for utility maintenance that would complete the wastewater plant capital maintenance and odor control improvements.

Enhanced water treatments with ultraviolet disinfection, Coal Creek drainage improvements between McCaslin Boulevard and Second Avenue, and preliminary construction for the Windy Gap Firming Project and Chimney Hollow Reservoir Project were also included in the budget.

It was brought to the attention of the board that the Chamber of Commerce requested an increase in contributions from the town to $30,000. Historically, the town has provided $15,000 a year to the chamber, excluding the year 2020 when the chamber was given $40,000.

“One area that gives me pause is the increase requested by the Superior Chamber of Commerce,” said Trustee Neal Shah. “While I am absolutely committed to increasing our focus on economic development, I’m just a little troubled by the recent endorsements of trustee candidates by chamber officials when the town is providing a quarter of their operating budget.”

Staffing changes for 2021 were noted to the board by Nilles, involving an addition of a full-time employee dedicated to sustainability. The board will take more time to discuss what the expectations and responsibilities for this position will be.

The meeting adjourned with a discussion to hold a second meeting to review capital expenditures. The following meeting may be held within a couple of weeks, according to Shah.

“I think the town staff continues to do a fantastic job in managing our finances and taking us through the budget in detail,” said Shah in an email. “We still have a ways to go before we can adopt it, but the conversation has been constructive so far.”