Grand Junction City Council begins planning 2014 budget

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) The Grand Junction City Council is taking its first steps toward putting together the 2014 budget.

Council members and city leaders met at Monday's budget workshop to discuss funding to internal services including information technology, communication center, insurance funds and the fleet fund.

"It's just hitting the basics right now," Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras said. "We're not actually discussing numbers in fact. We'll start that probably in the next couple of weeks."

Council members looked how much money they will need to allocate to keep technology and equipment for city employees up to date including fleet vehicles.

A major purchase in the fleet fund will be a $600,000 fire truck. Other fleet purchases include:
-7 police vehicles
-8 park mowers
-3 dump trucks
-11 utility vehicles

"The jobs couldn't be done in terms of maintaining streets, picking up garbage, responding to emergencies without the equipment," said Jay Valentine, internal services manager of the fleet.

A number of capital improvement projects are being discussed for the upcoming year. $7.5 million of the proposed budget could go to:
-Fire Station #4 relocation: $2.5 million
-Las Colonias: $460,000
-North Avenue, Horizon Drive and other street improvements

Council members are expecting a flat budget, meaning it will be similar to 2013 with no increases or decreases.

But as of right now, the budget is $2.5 million over, so in the coming weeks the council will look for areas to either add revenue or cut funding.

The next budget workshop is set for October 14 and the entire budget is due at the beginning of December.