During a regular meeting on December 4, City Council approved the 2020 Adopted Budget. This action culminates an eight-month process involving work from 13 departments, over 30 employees, and approximately 3,000 hours. In total, there have been six public meetings on the budget including meeting with citizens in July at the beginning of the budget process.
The 2020 Adopted Budget has been developed with an emphasis on the four Strategic Plan directives of:
- Public Safety
- Planning & Infrastructure
- Diversification of our Economic Base
- Connectedness through Community Building
These are built upon the four guiding principles of Partnerships & Intergovernmental Relationships, Communication, Leadership, and Fiscal Responsibility.
The City of Grand Junction is a full-service organization with over 35 distinct types of operations including:
- Emergency medical services, wildland fire fighting, 911 dispatch, police patrol, investigations, bomb squad, SWAT
- Parks, pools, trails, sports facilities, recreation programs
- Streets, engineering, construction, trash collection
- Water service, sewer service, golf, conference center, performance venues
- Destination marketing, legal, accounting, human resource management
As a service provider, the City’s largest expense is labor with 698 full-time employees. The majority of these employees are in public safety operations serving the community 24 hours per day, every day.
The Adopted 2020 Budget represents a $5.4 million, or 3.5% increase from the 2019 Adopted Budget. This increase is due to:
- New public safety positions funded by the First Responder Tax;
- Wage adjustment for all employees of 3.5%
- Increasing costs of fleet and technology for the new public safety positions
- $4 million in new First Responder Tax spending, which includes the opening of Fire Station #6, 15 new firefighter positions, 3 Fire Administrative positions, 7 sworn police officers, 5 Police Civilian positions, 1 Automotive Technician, 1 Recruiter, and new recruitment initiatives.
Specific 2020 Recommended Budget highlights:
- Continued investment in maintenance and improvement of street infrastructure totaling $5.8 million
- Riverfront at Dos Rios Pedestrian Bridge $3.5 million
- Safe Routes to Schools $210,000 (Mesa View, West Middle, Orchard Mesa Middle, Dos Rios)
- Water infrastructure projects totaling $5.6 million
- Sewer infrastructure projects totaling $11.8 million
- Continued development of the riverfront including facilitating $10.4 million in infrastructure at Dos Rios through the General Improvement District
- Emphasis in sustainability through continued investment in solar programs and alternative fuel programs such as the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) system and hybrid and electric vehicle fleet
- Continued partnership with CMU to employ 15 students in part-time/intern positions
City Manager Greg Caton states, “This 2020 Adopted Budget is the culmination of the hard work of City Council and staff over several months. The document is directly aligned with City Council’s newly adopted Strategic Plan, which makes it a strong roadmap for our organization moving into the future. The 2020 Budget is based on a combination of the community’s current needs and desires as well as some more strategic efforts that will help to strengthen our local economy into the future.”