Colorado River Water Conservation District
BUDGET MESSAGE – 2023 Budget

The District consists of all or part of 15 counties in the Colorado River drainage on the Western Slope of Colorado. The District’s purpose is to protect, conserve, use and develop water resources of the Colorado River and its tributaries. The District is charged by statute (C.R.S. §37-46-101) to safeguard for Colorado, all waters to which the State of Colorado is equitably entitled under the Colorado River Compacts and has such powers as are necessary to carry out this mandate.

The local government budget law of Colorado requires adoption of an annual budget by specified local governments. The basic purpose of this budget is to provide a complete financial plan, which reflects estimated revenues and proposed expenditures. The budget is a tool used to monitor revenues and to control expenditures.

The budgetary basis of accounting used by the Colorado River Water Conservation District is modified accrual. Please see the 2023 draft budgets below.

The General Fund provides for directors, legal, administrative and engineering expenses of the District. Additionally, this Fund provides for studies, planning and diligence on various projects. The District, in cooperation with other governmental agencies, performs feasibility and cost effectiveness studies on these various projects.

The 2023 General Fund draft budget is $11,138,526. This is funded by a property tax on a mill levy of 0.501 (including 0.001 allowable for abatement refunds), S.O. tax, miscellaneous income, reimbursements, and interest earnings. We believe these budgets comply with the Colorado Constitution Article X, Section 20 and other budget laws.

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The Capital Projects Fund consists of the Capital Reserve Fund. The primary purpose of the Capital Projects Fund is to support Capital Acquisition and Capital Improvements for and within the District. In 1998, a Capital Project Grant Program was started, making funds available for project assistance and emergency project assistance within the District. Initially, this was funded with annual interest earnings on the Capital Projects Fund. The grant program for project assistance is now run through the Community Funding Partnership Fund.

The total 2023 draft budget for the Capital Projects Fund is $1,105,332.

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This fund was established originally in 1985 as the Rock Creek Fund (now the Enterprise Fund) to operate and maintain the Wolford Mountain Project and to construct, operate and maintain other storage and conservation projects. In 1998, the Enterprise Fund became a shareholder in the Eagle Park Reservoir Company, purchasing initial 300 acre feet of yield. The Memorandum of Understanding which resulted in the initial creation of the Company as Phase I of a larger Eagle Basin Project contemplates the construction of additional projects for West Slope uses. In 2000, the Enterprise began purchasing contracts for water delivery from Ruedi Reservoir from the US Bureau of Reclamation. The initial contracts in 2000 were for 1,200 acre feet of water. In 2003, the Enterprise Fund purchased an additional 520 acre feet, in 2007, an additional 5,000 acre feet, and in 2013, an additional 4,683.50 acre feet. The 2013 purchase was initiated in the Capital projects Fund and will be purchased by the Enterprise fund on an as needed basis. In 2008, the enlargement of an existing dam and reservoir on Elkhead Creek, tributary to the Yampa River near Craig, Colorado, was completed.

The 2023 operation and capital draft budget for this Fund is $4,122,075.

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The Community Funding Partnership (CFP) Fund was established in 2021 as a result of passage of Ballot Issue 7A in the fall of 2020, which increased the mill levy to 0.500. Consistent with the Fiscal Implementation Plan, approximately $4.2 million annually provides for water projects across five project categories: productive agriculture, infrastructure, healthy rivers, watershed health, water quality, conservation, and efficiency.

The total 2023 draft budget for the CFP Fund is $4,756,819, which includes an excess funds transfer from the General Fund in the amount of $300,000.

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CRWCD 2021 Audited Financial Statements– Final, as approved by the Board on July 20, 2022.

Details of the budgets are available in summary on the links to each fund above. If you have questions, please contact Andy Mueller or Ian Philips at (970) 945-8522.

Comments and inquiries relating to our financial statements may be made to Ian Philips, CPA, iphilips@crwcd.org, or phone 970-945-8522.