City Council will hold a public hearing during the regular Wednesday night City Council meeting on the City Manager’s Recommended 2019 Budget of $176.9 million. A second public hearing will be held at the December 5 City Council meeting after which City Council will vote on adoption of the budget. Access to all 2019 Recommended Budget documents can be found on the City’s website.
City staff has been working for months planning for and developing the Recommended 2019 Budget with over 30 employees playing a role. The budget is built on the foundation of the strategic plan, the ten-year capital plan, and a five-year financial forecast in addition to revenue projections based on economic indicators. Projections of annual revenues for 2019 include a modest 3% projected growth in sales tax revenues. The spending budget reflects an emphasis on the strategic plan fundamentals of public safety, planning and infrastructure, diversification of the economic base, and communication, outreach and engagement built upon the foundation of partnership and intergovernmental relationships, and fiscal responsibility.
The Recommended 2019 Budget reflects an increase of $11 million or 6.6% over 2018. The primary areas of increase include:
- New positions (nine in public safety, nine in planning and infrastructure, and one in human resources), employee wage adjustments of 3.5%, and insurance increase of 10%
- Completion of major capital projects at Las Colonias Park and Two Rivers Convention Center
- Increasing costs of operating expenses including fuel and technology improvements
- Continuation of funding replacement of operating equipment and fleet (public safety and infrastructure)
- A projected ending fund balance of $26.9 million which is $8.7 million above or a 48% increase in fund balance projected in adopted 2018 budget
Other 2019 Recommended Budget highlights:
- Implement a partnership with CMU to employ 11 students in part-time/intern positions (this program has begun with smaller numbers in 2018 and is recommended to increase in 2019)
- Continue our investment in maintenance and reconstruction of existing street infrastructure; $6.2 million
- Completion of major economic development projects in partnership with Downtown Development Authority and private industry
City Manager Greg Caton noted in relation to the Recommended Budget, “I am proud of the hard work that our staff put into developing the 2019 City Manager’s Recommended Budget and I am pleased how it aligns with City Council’s adopted Strategic Plan. Although we are so glad that the local economy is strengthening and that revenues are rebounding from the level we experienced just a couple of years ago, we are still in a position where we have, and will continue to have, unmet needs in several of our priorities. The City Manager’s Recommended Budget represents the continued delivery of City services and programs that residents have come to count on.”
The November 7 and December 5 public hearings will both be held at 6 p.m. in the Grand Junction City Hall Auditorium and public comment is encouraged.
Contact: Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager 970-244-1507 or firstname.lastname@example.org