City Council is in the process of reviewing the Recommended 2019 Budget with the final public hearing and adoption vote scheduled for December 5. The 2019 recommended spending budget was developed with an emphasis on the four Strategic Plan fundamentals of:
- Public safety
- Planning and infrastructure
- Diversification of the economic base
- Communication, outreach and engagement
These are built upon the guiding principles of partnerships and intergovernmental relationships, and fiscal responsibility.
Over 30% of the Recommended 2019 Budget will be devoted to the Strategic Directive of Public Safety. Twenty million dollars is proposed for service provision and capital for the Fire Department and $33.2 million is proposed for service provision for the Police Department, including the regional 911 Communication Center, which dispatches for 23 agencies throughout Mesa County. These Recommended Budget figures represent an increase over 2018 of $2.3 million (or 8%) for the Police Department and $1.7 million (or 9%) for the Fire Department.
Nine new personnel are recommended in the public safety departments in 2019 equating to 349 (132 in the Fire Department and 217 in the Police Department) of the City’s total recommended 653 full-time personnel. Increased overtime funding is also recommended for 2019 to address vacancy rates. The City implemented organization wide staff reductions in 2010 and again in 2016, however the number of personnel in the public safety departments increased, and will continue to do so as the City of Grand Junction works toward addressing unmet first responder capital and staffing needs.
2019 Recommended Budget Public Safety Addition Highlights
- The Fire Department will continue work on establishing a temporary ambulance station at Horizon Park on 27 and G Roads to provide better coverage in the north area of the City. Accordingly, a tenth ambulance will be added to the Fire Department fleet.
- The Police Department will add three police officers, one sergeant, one police service technician, and three personnel in the 911 Communication Center.
- Replacement and purchase of needed specialized public safety equipment including fire personal protective equipment, 800 MHZ radios, auto extrication equipment, bomb suits and rifles will continue.
- A new brush engine for additional Wildland Fire Team deployment will be purchased.
- Fire training components will be added to the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Center in Whitewater.
City Manager Greg Caton states, “Public safety is one of the primary service areas of any municipal government. This recommended budget and increase in staffing is reflective of that, but also reflective of the importance of providing high-caliber services to our community. The direct impact public safety has on quality of life cannot be overstated. Within the limited resources we have available we have found a way to continue to grow our public safety departments, but there is still much more that we hope to do in the future as the City of Grand Junction works toward addressing the unmet needs of additional first responder personnel and fire/EMS stations.”
The second public hearing on the 2019 Recommended Budget 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.
The public hearing will 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