Golden budget includes more police, open space and street projects

$86. 3 million budget 'in pretty good shape'

Posted 10/26/15

Among plans for 2016, the City of Golden wants to add two more police officers to its force, hire a community development analyst to focus on affordable housing, remodel a fire station and complete the West 44th Avenue trail.

Those are some of …

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Golden budget includes more police, open space and street projects

$86. 3 million budget 'in pretty good shape'

Posted

Among plans for 2016, the City of Golden wants to add two more police officers to its force, hire a community development analyst to focus on affordable housing, remodel a fire station and complete the West 44th Avenue trail.

Those are some of the key elements proposed in an $86.3 million 2016 budget discussed by the council and City Manager Jason Slowinski at the Oct. 15 study session.

The budget "is in pretty good shape,” Slowinski said.

A final vote is scheduled for Dec. 3.

Golden operates on a two-year budget with a 10-year capital improvement plan. Because the city's revenues have been strong, the projected 2016 general fund revenue has been amended from $24.9 million to $26.2 million.

As such, all departments plan to increase their operating budgets. Operating expenditures have increased from $22.5 million to $23.7 million.

Public safety will receive the largest increase of $855,860 for fire and police department expenditures. Two new full-time police officers and part-time personnel in dispatch will be hired. The increase also covers expenses for police operations equipment, including $73,000 to purchase a Live Scan system, which will replace an antiquated ink-and-card fingerprint process.

The remodel of Fire Station 4 will begin in the second half of 2016 and continue into 2017 for a total project cost of $250,000.

The community and economic development department is looking to hire a full-time, two-year contracted community development analyst to focus on increasing and managing the supply of affordable housing in Golden.

The budget also includes $39 million for capital improvements, which include maintenance for existing structures and construction of new city assets such as streets, water and open space.

Golden's streets must be evaluated every year to make sure there is enough budgeted to keep them maintained, community and economic development director Steve Glueck told the council last month.

Inflation in construction costs caused a predicted expenditure increase and about $2 million is expected to be spent on roads in 2016.

The major open space project is the completion of the West 44th Avenue trail, expected to cost $895,000. Of this amount, $552,307 has been pledged by partnering agencies Great Outdoors Colorado and Jefferson County Open Space.

The proposed 2016 budget is expected to have an ending fund balance of $6.1 million, maintaining what Slowinski described in a memorandum as a “healthy reserve that is well above the 10-20 percent reserve policy.”

Golden, Colorado, 2016 budget, Jason Slowinski, Christy Steadman

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