Mayor Bach releases proposed 2012 budget
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Mayor Steve Bach has released his proposed 2012 General Fund and All Funds budgets. The General Fund proposed budget totals $224,575,000, a 0.61 percent increase from the 2011 budget and a 0.31 percent increase from the current year-end projection. The slight increase is due primarily to the transfer of Support Services functions as well as stormwater maintenance and permit activities from other funds to the General Fund.
The 2012 General Fund budget reflects more than $3.7 million in savings across all departments as a result of staff meeting the Mayor’s challenge to examine all vacant positions and opportunities for efficiencies. Approximately 38 vacant positions are eliminated in the 2012 budget. In addition, the cost sharing formula to fund the employee medical plan is shifted from 86 percent employer/14 percent employee to 80/20, resulting in expected savings of an additional $1.4 million.
“One of my three main objectives as Mayor is to transform City government so that it works for everyone without increasing taxes,” said Mayor Bach. “To accomplish this, we must take a longer-term, more strategic view. Within this context, my proposed 2012 budget provides core City services at the current 2011 level. I am very appreciative of staff’s commitment in working with me to identify areas of savings.”
The Mayor plans to work with City Council in 2012 to engage the community in a process to develop a new Strategic Plan that will incorporate specific measurable outcomes. The Mayor also plans to develop a four-year plan to address the City’s long-term fiscal sustainability. Part of that plan includes the following strategies:
- Engaging an independent consultant to conduct a total compensation study to ensure a fiscally-responsible salary plan that also works to attract and retain high-performing employees;
- Working with the legislative delegation to propose and gain support for legislation enacting more sustainable pension funding practices; and
- Implementing an innovation and sustainability program to help the City become a stronger, healthier organization.
“The City uses three models to forecast sales and use tax revenue. Given the results of those models and the consensus that the recovery is faltering, we believe a conservative projection is the appropriate strategy,” said Mayor Bach. “The 2012 forecast used for this budget assumes sales and use tax revenue will be approximately one-half of a percent below the current 2011 end-of-year forecast, which is 2.06 percent above the 2011 budget.
“I am proposing to Council that the City’s position be reevaluated after the first quarter of 2012 when the final 2011 figures are available and the revenue trend can be assessed,” added Mayor Bach. “At that time, if the updated models suggest revenues will exceed the forecast upon which this budget is based, then additional services could be considered for funding. Until then, the forecast should remain conservative to avoid implementing additional services that may not have sufficient revenue to sustain them.”
The All Funds proposed budget, which includes the General Fund plus Enterprises, Special Revenue, Internal Services, and the Permanent Funds, totals $379,897,040. This includes an appropriation for expected grant funds of $57.0 million. Excluding grant funds, the 2012 All Funds proposed budget reflects a decrease from the 2011 budget of less than one percent.
The proposed 2012 budget is available for public review online at www.springsgov.com/Budget/2012Budget. Specific feedback can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is the budget calendar (subject to change – all sessions will be televised on SpringsTV, which is Comcast Channel 18, and streamed online on www.springsgov.com):
October 18 1-5 p.m. City Council Budget Work Session
October 19 9-noon City Council Budget Work Session
October 20 9-noon City Council Budget Work Session (if needed)
October 27 7-9 p.m. Formal Public Hearing and E-Town Hall on 2012 Budget
November 3 9-noon City Council Budget Markup Session
November 3 1-5 p.m. City Council Budget Markup Session (if needed)
November 21 1 p.m. City Council informal review of final Appropriation Ordinances and 2012 Budget
November 22 1 p.m. First reading of 2012 Appropriation Ordinance and Mill Levy Certification at Formal Council Meeting
December 13 1 p.m. Second reading; 2012 City Budget officially adopted at Formal Council Meeting
December 31 Deadline for appropriating budget (CRS 29-1-108 and City Charter 7-50)