Larimer County Releases Proposed 2013 Budget
Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Oct 15, 2012
Linda Hoffmann, County Manager, (970) 498-7004, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Keister, Larimer County Budget Director, (970) 498-7017, email@example.com
Board of County Commissioners, (970) 498-7010, BOCC@larimer.org
Donna Hart, BCC Business Operations Supervisor, 970-498-7012, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deni La Rue, Community Information Manager, (970) 498-7150, email@example.com
Larimer County, Colorado – Based on the Board of County Commissioners’ priorities and direction, Larimer County Manager Linda Hoffmann released the Proposed Larimer County 2013 Budget late afternoon last Friday. The proposal reflects budget reductions that are the first step in a 3-year glide path to prepare for a shortfall estimated to total between $8M and $10M by 2015. Voters rejected a proposal in November 2011 to continue the existing sales tax for jail improvements and operations. As a result the current tax will expire December 14, 2014. The County Commissioners have involved County staff leaders and the public in a process to set priorities for cutting budgets to address the future gap in revenue.
The Net Operating Budget, $222,497,408 proposed for 2013, represents a 1.2% decrease from the adopted 2012 budget. The budget proposes significant internal transfers and one-time capital expenditures which raise the overall 2013 Proposed Total County Budget to $319,247,298. The major capital improvements proposed for 2013 include retiring debt early for construction of the Community Corrections facility, a move that will save more than a quarter million dollars in interest. In addition, the Ranchway indoor arena and two livestock pavilions at The Ranch will be reconstructed using lawsuit settlement proceeds awarded in 2012. Some road and bridge projects delayed in 2012 will be carried over into the 2013 and added to the package of projects already planned.
The 2013 budget was prepared using the concepts of Budgeting for Outcomes. In this system, county services are evaluated based on priorities set by the Board of County Commissioners. The seven key outcome areas are listed in descending order of proposed funding for 2013:
- Public Safety
- Health and Well-Being
- Environment and Natural Resources
- General Governmental Services
- Jobs Creation and Economic Vitality
- Preparing for Growth
The 2013 budget proposal includes a variety of cost-cutting measures among the County’s departments and services. Multiple departments are using voluntary staff reductions and separations to re-examine job responsibilities and classifications, rearrange duties, and create opportunities for entry-level staff positions. Natural Resources has worked with their customers to add value to their park permits in order to comfortably raise permit fees and backfill revenue lost from the General Fund. The District Attorney’s office is using technology to automate processes and accomplish the same work in new ways. The Assessor has leveraged their innovation award winning ideas to propose entering a reappraisal year with two fewer staff members. Alternative Sentencing has completely overhauled their processes to serve more clients with the same staff and keep jail inmate numbers lower. Revenues generated at the landfill are being used to subsidize other services our community wants: transfer stations, recycling services, and household hazardous waste collection. County Manager Linda Hoffmann, remarked “the creativity and ingenuity of many County departments is impressive. They are stretching dollars as far as they can to continue services to our citizens.”
The public is invited to comment on the budget and there are several ways to do that: attend a hearing; watch a hearing on cable television or streamed on the Internet; Email or call in comments via Internet and telephone to the live TV hearings; send in written comments. Here are details:
Estes Park Hearing – Wednesday, November 14, 2012 – 6:30p.m. - Cable Channel 12 in Estes Park. The hearing takes place at the Estes Park Municipal Bldg., Board Chambers, 170 MacGregor Ave. The public is encouraged to attend.
Fort Collins Hearing
– Monday, November 19, 2012 – 6:30p.m.- Cable Channels 14 in Fort Collins and 16 in Berthoud, Loveland, LaPorte and Wellington. The hearing takes place in Fort Collins at 200 West Oak St., 1st floor Hearing Room. Viewers can call-in comments at 970-498-7016, and email in questions at BOCC@larimer.org
. The public is encouraged to attend.
Copies of the 2013 Proposed Budget are available at the Larimer County Budget Office, 200 West Oak Street, Fort Collins, Colorado (phone 498-7017). Copies are also sent to local public libraries, local radio & television stations and local newspapers. The Budget Adoption Hearing is set for Thursday, December 20 at 2p.m. in the 1st floor hearing Room at 200 West Oak St., Fort Collins.