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December 11, 2012
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Garfield County adopts $116.7 million budget for 2013

SILT, Colorado - Garfield County commissioners on Monday adopted a balanced budget of $116.7 million for 2013, reflecting an equal amount of spending to projected revenues for the coming year.

"I'm proud that we've balanced the budget again and spent some reserves to pay off our certificates of participation," Commissioner Mike Samson said in a prepared statement issued following the regular Garfield Board of County Commissioners meeting, which was held in Silt on Monday.

Samson was speaking to recent decisions to use some of the county's more than $100 million in reserve funds to pay off the amount owed on several county facilities, including the sheriff's office/jail and the county administration buildings in Glenwood Springs.

Overall, the budget anticipates $29 million less in spending in 2013 compared to this year. The largest part of that is $15.7 million for the early payment of financing on the various facilities, and $12.3 million spent for the Interstate 70 West Parachute interchange.

Added Commissioner Tom Jankovsky in a follow-up statement, "The 2013 operating and capital budgets are balanced. I'm pleased with the work our staff has done, and the detailed analysis that went into this."

The county will continue to consider discretionary expenditures during the coming year using fund balances, including specific infrastructure improvements in the six municipalities, the commissioners said.

Projected revenues for 2013 are expected to decrease by $8.5 million, or 7 percent, next year. That's in large part due to the intergovernmental grant revenues that came in this year for the Parachute interchange project won't be on the 2013 budget, according to the county's press release.

Property tax collections next year are budgeted to increase $2.3 million, or 4 percent. The county's mill levy, which is used to calculate property taxes, will remain the same as it has been since 1992, at 13.655 mills.

Sales tax coming to Garfield County's coffers is projected to be $8.5 million.

Personnel expenses for county operations will be the same in 2013 as this year, under the adopted budget. Human service and other grant allocations will also be similar to 2012 amounts.

Discretionary expenditures will also increase in 2013 by more than $3 million, due to planned grants to local municipalities. And, capital expenditures in the road and bridge department will increase by $2 million in 2013, as projects on county roads initiated in 2012 are completed in 2013.

The overall operating budget will decrease by approximately $7.6 million, or 7 percent, from the 2012 amended budget. That reduction includes the commissioner's decision to fund the Garfield County Air Show only every two years, instead of annually. The show, which runs about $250,000, will not be funded in 2013.

"We are living up to our responsibility by spending tax revenue in a prudent manner," said BOCC Chairman John Martin.

The 2013 Garfield County proposed budget is available online at: finance/2013-proposed-budget. aspx.">class="NormalParagraphStyle">

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The Post Independent Updated Dec 11, 2012 01:25AM Published Dec 11, 2012 01:23AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.