City Workforce Lean, but Continues to Meet Increasing Demand for Service

Grand Junction continues to grow. Recent estimates show Grand Junction’s population to be over 64,000. Although City of Grand Junction revenues along with some other indicators in the community do not necessarily reflect this, there are people moving here, families are continuing to grow, new housing continues to be built and businesses continue to open.

The geographic area for provision of City services is larger than ever. The service area has grown from 14.5 square miles in 1988 to nearly 40 square miles today. Grand Junction is a regional service provider and our service area, particularly for public safety, extends far beyond the city limits. Grand Junction’s daytime population (made up of residents as well as those who travel into Grand Junction for work or shopping or service) is estimated to be over 96,500. Despite all this, the City has the leanest staffing ratio in decades, without a resulting reduction in service provision.

collageGrowth in population relative to City services translates directly to numbers of people driving on the roads, requiring drinking water and taking showers, flushing the toilet, using parks and trails and recreation programs, and requiring service from 911, police and fire.

When the economy was stronger in 2009, the City of Grand Junction budget authorized 713 full-time employees. Today, following two separate workforce reductions, the City is at 628 full-time employees, yet the amount of service provided is much the same, and in public safety, it has actually expanded. The tightening in the economy required tightening of the City workforce, and that requirement was taken seriously. For 2017 alone, although the City will be adding ten positions into the public safety departments, prior to the addition of those positions we reduced $1.8 million in labor costs, all in non-public safety or non-self-funded departments.

City Manager Greg Caton states, “As any successful business does, we continue to look for services that can be outsourced and ways to tighten our belt, and we will continue to look for more ways to do so – all while delivering the best services possible to Grand Junction.”

In 2017, $68 million will be spent on the purchase of outsourced goods, services, capital and community partnership programs that include the collaborative partnership with local economic development organizations, the outsourcing of City street maintenance and other infrastructure projects, the contract for operation of the public compressed natural gas fueling station, and the City’s partnership with multiple organizations on the Stocker Stadium/Suplizio Field complex. These are important to the local community in terms of services; important to outcomes in terms of creating even stronger and more efficient programs; and important to local taxpayers, because they make it possible to stretch City dollars that much further while still meeting the demand for service.

 Contact: Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager   970-244-1507

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