Garfield County approves $102M budget for 2019 |

Garfield County approves $102M budget for 2019

Staff report

Garfield County’s $102 million budget for 2019 has been approved by the Board of County Commissioners. It includes a $3 million decrease in expenditures from 2018, as well as a $1 million increase in revenue, mostly due to an increase in property tax collections, according to county officials.

The 2019 budget will see expenditures come in just under $102 million, with $89.6 million in projected revenue, according to estimates

“We have a proven track record, in terms of our elected officials and directors, over the many years that we’ve demonstrated fiscal responsibility, and we’re continuing that with our 2019 proposed budget,” County Manager Kevin Batchelder said in a press release.

During the last several weeks, the commissioners held hearings with various department heads, and the final budget reflects changes suggested during those public hearings, he said.

The county’s proposed personnel budget is $47 million, which includes 3.1 percent merit raises and a 10 percent increase in health insurance costs. The county is adding just one employee over 2018 numbers — a Garfield County Sheriff’s Office student resource officer for Garfield District 16 schools. The additional position was not part of the annual budget process, and was approved by the BOCC earlier this year as an amendment to the 2018 adopted budget and carried over to next year.

The school district and town of Parachute have agreed to each reimburse the county for one third of the cost of the position, according to county officials.

The county’s $8.1 million capital budget includes $2.5 million for infrastructure; $1.9 million for heavy equipment purchases; $1.4 million in building improvements; $1.2 million for replacement vehicles; and $1 million for computer equipment and software.

Estimated operating revenues exceed estimated expenditures by about $45,000 resulting in a balanced budget, said county Finance Director Theresa Wagenman.

The budget was approved unanimously by the commissioners at their Nov. 12 meeting.

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