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.
In 2019, the City will take proactive steps to help mitigate the effects of the peaks and valleys in an historically boom and bust economy. Economic development will continue to be a focus and since economic development is driven by factors beyond the scope of our organization, the City will continue to outsource economic development activities through support of its economic development partners. Nearly 11% of the Recommended 2019 Budget of $176.9 million is devoted to the Strategic Directive of Diversification of the Economic Base. Additionally another $1.5 million will be added to promote, market, and obtain travel and tourism with the recently approved additional 3% in lodging taxes paid for by visitors to Grand Junction.
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) leads new business recruitment and the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce supports the retention and expansion of existing business in the community. The Business Incubator Center, Colorado Mesa University, and Western Colorado Community College encourage new business growth and talent development.
Total recommended funding for economic development partners and non-profit entities in 2019 is $5.1 million and is funded by the General Fund (2% sales tax), the Capital Fund (0.75% sales tax), and the revenue generated by the vendors fee cap started last year.
2019 Recommended Budget – Diversification of the Economic Base Highlights
- $6.9 million in improvements to Two Rivers Convention Center
- $5.2 million in support for recreation amenities and programs that benefit quality of life for employees and families which helps recruit and retain businesses
- $3 million to support and operate the Visit Grand Junction destination marketing department, including new revenues that will be generated from the voter-approved 3% increase in lodging tax
- $954,921 to the Downtown Development Authority in partnership on the Las Colonias Business and Recreation Park and Two Rivers Convention Center projects
- $515,000 for Grand Valley Transit including a new shuttle route from Horizon Drive and Colorado Mesa University to Downtown
- $500,000 for Colorado Mesa University for the classroom building (year seven of a 15-year commitment)
- $440,450 in tax increment funding to support Downtown Development Authority redevelopment efforts
- $400,000 for college scholarships for local high school students
- $391,912 to the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission from the voter-approved increase in lodging tax
- $369,700 for economic development partnership with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Business Incubator Center, and Grand Junction Economic Partnership
- $100,000 toward the Foreign-Trade Zone implementation
Las Colonias and the Riverfront area will continue to develop in 2019 starting with the completion of Phase II of the Las Colonias Business Park in the spring. The completion of Phase II will finish several infrastructure elements of the business park as well as some recreational amenities. These amenities include the boat ramp, festival area, dog park, restroom, shelters and butterfly lake. The river recreation area will be completed later in the summer of 2019 through a partnership with Colorado Mesa University and Bonsai Design. Joining Bonsai Design in Las Colonias is RockyMounts, a Boulder-based industry leader in bike, ski and cargo racks, and bike security. RockyMounts will relocate to Las Colonias Business Park in the fall of 2019, strengthening the blend of outdoor recreation business and recreational amenities.
Visit Grand Junction, the City’s destination marketing department, will begin transitioning to a data-driven department which will provide actionable insights to grow awareness of Grand Junction and the surrounding area. The department will start using new, innovative technologies in 2019 to provide data-based analysis to guide the department’s marketing initiatives.
Although a destination marketing organization’s primary mission is to attract new visitation to the area by deploying strategic marketing initiatives outside of the community, continued partnership on relevant initiatives with partners such as GJEP, the Grand Junction Regional Airport and Colorado Mesa University, will provide additional business opportunities for the community, ensuring that all partners are working together to achieve mutual success in terms of developing our local economy.
City Manager Greg Caton notes, “Strategic, coordinated economic development efforts are critical to help move our community forward, but perhaps even more critical to keep it from losing ground, which has unfortunately been the situation in the past. By City Council making Economic Diversification a priority in the Strategic Plan, they have acknowledged the importance and this budget puts significant funding towards that effort. Each dollar we can devote to economic development, in a myriad of forms, helps strengthen the community and better positions us to continue to improve our economic vitality. This is good strategic budgeting.”
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