Greeley's $220 million budget adds 18 city employees [Greeley Tribune, Colo.]
(Greeley Tribune (CO) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 02--The Greeley City Council on Tuesday introduced the city's 2014 budget with $2.36 million more to spend than the city originally planned, thanks to a few tweaks and rising sales tax revenues.
At $220 million, Greeley's budget continues to rise, up from $208 million this year and $196 million in 2012. A rising budget doesn't always mean a rise in revenue -- some of the increase is usually due to spending on capital projects paid for through enterprise funds collected by Greeley's Water and Sewer and Stormwater departments.
But this year, rising revenues are to thank for at least 18 new full-time employees spanning nearly every department, plus some seasonal workers in the Public Works and Culture, Parks and Recreation departments.
The budget's first reading was approved unanimously by council members, and faces a final hearing on Oct. 15.
When the city council was first presented with projections for increased revenue, Victoria Runkle, Greeley's director of finance, suggested the new allocations focus on things department heads requested before and didn't get, ongoing maintenance, restoration of programs that were cut during the recession and public safety, because the city will save $862,000 in public safety expenditures by stepping down from its partnership with Weld County in running the regional dispatch center.
If all remains the same after the budget's final hearing, Greeley will have:
--Two new employees in the Community Development Department to help with rising building permits.
--Seven new employees in the Greeley Police Department, including three data coordinators needed to reduce a backlog of police reports, an animal control officer, a public safety technician and two more special enforcement officers, who pursue career criminals and help the Gang Unit, among other things.
--A new web administrator in the IT department to update and maintain the city's website and to develop new ways to digitally market Greeley, such as creating a smartphone app.
--Two new city foresters.
--A park technician in the Culture, Parks and Recreation Department to maintain trails and control weeds in Greeley parks.
--One new firefighter in the Greeley Fire Department.
--Four new employees in Public Works, including a facilities manager to help tackle a backlog of maintenance needs for Greeley buildings, a stormwater engineer and a second stormwater crew, including two full-time employees and two seasonal workers.
--$1.9 million in pay raises for city employees.
--More than $300,000 for things like a study on development impact fees, Greeley police training and equipment and a software package to help streamline licensing and permitting for the city's right-of-ways.
--About $300,000 more to spend on daily upkeep of street maintenance, fill potholes, add traffic signals, improve crosswalks and allocate some money to Greeley's bike program.
--$2 million to spend on neighborhood improvements, such as entryway improvements at 8th Avenue and 16th Street and Poudre Trailhead improvements.
--More than $22 million to spend on capital improvements and maintenance for Greeley water, sewer and wastewater.
(c)2013 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)
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