Host of capital projects in city’s budget for 2012 |

Host of capital projects in city’s budget for 2012

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The city of Glenwood Springs’ 2012 municipal budget, while reflecting about $1 million less in general fund spending than this year, does include several million dollars worth of spending on new capital investments, and one major repair job.

City Council formally adopted the 2012 budget on a 7-0 vote at its Nov. 3 meeting. The budget reflects $11.3 million in general fund spending, down from about $12.3 million this year.

As one result of the decreased budget, the city is eliminating the equivalent of eight full-time staff positions across several departments, City Manager Jeff Hecksel said.

Most of the eliminated positions are currently vacant and will not require layoffs, he said. Of the three employees who were to be let go, one has already taken another open job with the city and there may be other opportunities for the other two, he said.

“Our hope is that all the folks who are affected will be able to be gainfully employed, if not with the city then somewhere else, by the first of the year,” Hecksel said.

Meanwhile, at the final budget work session with City Council before the budget was adopted, several capital projects were reviewed and either funded in some way or eliminated from next year’s budget, he said.

One major capital outlay for the city will be its share of the cost to build a parking structure at Ninth and Cooper to enhance public parking downtown. The city is set to cover about $3 million of the anticipated $4 million cost.

Construction is tentatively slated to begin in the spring, with completion in November 2012, Hecksel said.

The city is also staring at a $1.4 million cost to make repairs at the Municipal Operations Center building along Wulfsohn Road west of Glenwood Meadows. The building has experienced significant damage from settling, similar to the nearby Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus barn.

Other smaller discretionary spending items approved in the 2012 budget include:

• $200,000 to complete the next phase of the Lower Valley Trail project in South Canyon.

• An additional $200,000 general fund subsidy (in addition to the $600,000 already allocated) to subsidize wastewater rates, which are rising because of the new wastewater treatment plant.

• $160,000 in repairs to the whitewater park wave feature, which resulted from undercutting during this year’s high runoff.

• $60,000 from the city’s capital fund for new restrooms at Veltus Park (matching funds for a $90,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant application).

• $20,000 for confluence area redevelopment planning.

• $10,000 for professional services to update the city website.

• $25,000 from the city council budget to improve public information efforts.

The city will also be able to restore $20,000 in funding from its accommodations (lodging) tax fund to pay for next year’s Fourth of July fireworks display. This year, the city had to rely on private fundraising efforts to help pay for the fireworks.

Among the projects not funded in next year’s budget were about $1.1 million in energy improvements at City Hall, the city fire stations and replacement of street lights as part of the city’s energy performance contracting through the Garfield Clean Energy initiative.

The city also will postpone a $1.5 million expenditure for new whitewater park features that had also been discussed.

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