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Colorado Springs Mayor unveils 2014 budget proposal

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:12:07 AM CST
Updated On: Oct 07 2013 07:43:33 PM CDT

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has unveiled his proposed budget for 2014.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has unveiled his proposed budget for 2014.

The mayor's 2014 general fund budget proposal totals $245.6 million dollars, $13.8 million dollars more than his 2013 budget proposal.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ENTIRE 2014 BUDGET PROPOSAL

The city says the extra money would be used on capital improvement and public safety projects and includes funding cuts to city administration, as well as the elimination of nearly 100 non-public safety city jobs.

In a news release, the city says the increase is allocated according to the following priorities expressed by the citizens and toward the mayor’s goals of creating jobs, transforming city government, and building community:

  • $73 million General Fund Capital Improvement Program
  • $4.7 million increase in the Fire Department budget to maintain authorized strength, fund wildfire mitigation, and enhance the community health program
  • $5 million increase in the Police Department budget to add 16 additional police officers (alongside an additional 11 police officers to be funded by the Public Safety Sales Tax), increase the Community Service Offer program, and restructure and enhance the Police Communications Center to improve call response
  • $640,000 increase in the Parks Department budget to fund additional contracted right-of-way mowing operations in Gateway and Gem areas of our City; increase the ability to respond to citizen requested street tree services and to work toward the objectives of the Parks Master Plan
  • $1.8 million DECREASE to the budgets of the Administrative Departments including: the Mayor’s Office, Finance, Human Resources, City Clerk, City Attorney, Information Technology, Municipal Court, Communications, Economic Vitality, and General Costs
  • Across the Budget, 96 non-public safety positions were eliminated and 49 public safety positions were added resulting in a net reduction of 47 positions.
  • Implementing Sunday and Powers Boulevard bus service

The City says it continues to pursue additional grant funding to address recent flooding and to mitigate the impact of future flooding.  Bret Waters, director of the Office of Emergency Management, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 the initial estimate of damage to public roads, parks and trails is $10 million to $13 million.  That is not in the budget. 

Chief of Staff Laura Neumann said the city will wait to see what money FEMA will provide then they will likely reconvene next year to decide how to pay for the rest of the damages.

Mayor Bach's 2014 budget proposal will be presented to the city council in a series of four work sessions scheduled for October 10, October 11, October 14, and October 15.

City council will host an e-town hall public meeting about the budget proposal on Thursday, October 17. The meeting is scheduled to run from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and will take place at city hall, 107 N. Nevada Avenue.

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