Tuesday, September 8, 2015

2016 city budget preview

Posted By on Tue, Sep 8, 2015 at 11:22 AM

click to enlarge Skinner: The city has more needs than money.
  • Skinner: The city has more needs than money.
On Tuesday, City Council got a preview of Mayor John Suthers' 2016 budget, which shows an expected increase in revenue of $8.9 million — largely due to an uptick in sales tax — that's more than offset by "unavoidable" expenditures and department and program needs.

Bottom line is a deficit of $12.4 million.

The unavoidable expenditure increases include $406,000 for utilities, $16 million for stormwater projects and operating costs, and rising costs of employee benefits and raises, among other things.

The budget includes 11 appropriating departments, which should please Council, which complained that former mayor Steve Bach appropriated to five departments in alleged violation of the City Charter.

Among department requests are an additional liquor and marijuana licensing enforcement officer, vehicle replacements, adding 12 firefighters to staff the city's newest Fire Station 22, an electronic media specialist in the communications department, increased support for the Westside Community Center, police body cameras and replacement of the Sand Creek police substation.

Here's a point-point presentation made to Council by Finance Director Kara Skinner:

Suthers'  priorities:

1.Stormwater Funding - $16 million
•~$3 million operating – activities to comply with MS4 permit
•Maintaining drainage
•Street sweeping
•$13 million projects
•General Fund funded
•Grants funded
2.Reduce the PPRTA Transit Maintenance of Effort (MOE) funding deficit by at least half
3.Phase out the Business Personal Property Tax (BPPT) over 3 years
The budget revenue will be 3.5 percent more, or $8.9 million, in 2016 than this year.

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