County commissioners look over budget proposing 15% spending cut for 2010

By: KKCO - Email
By: KKCO - Email

Mesa County Adminstrators presented a proposed 2010 budget to the Commissioners Tuesday morning.

Commissioners reviewed a proposed budget with cuts designed to have a minimal impact on citizens and the community, but will amount to almost 15 percent in 2010.

They say the proposed cuts come as a result of falling revenues. Revenues which are expected to decrease 11.5 percent from the 2009 adopted budget. County Administrator Jon Peacock says making the cuts weren't easy decisions but believes little would be cut that will limit services.

The biggest cuts come from internal services like information technology, facilities, administration and personnel costs. Costs County Officials say have less impact on citizens in the short term.

Under the proposal, 14.62 full time positions will be cut, but they're positions that are already vacant.

County officials say the budget proposed Tuesday isn't the final budget, but is a recommendation to the Commissioners. They say it'll likely change as the budget is debated and that further cuts need to be made. A final budget will be adopted Dec. 15.

County Administrators say every department is being asked to reduce spending and that the employees are making sacrifices as well. Some of those sacrifices are:
-There will continue to be no salary increases in 2010.
-Many vacant positions are being held open for the time being.
-All county employees will take two unpaid days off in 2010.
-Individual departments are making a variety of other spending cuts.

The county's proposed budget for 2010 is $151,467,200. The proposed budget would cut it by 14.8 percent or just over $26 million compared to the 2009 adopted budget.

County officials say the budgeting process starts with citizen input, including surveys, focus groups and town hall meetings. Based on that input, the county has allotted the following funding:
-Well planned & developed communities: 31%
-Promote public safety: 28%
-Self-sufficient individuals & families: 16%
-Protect & manage public resources: 13 %
-Economic vitality: 8%
-Promote public health: 4%

11 News will have more on this story tonight at 5:30 and 10 p.m.

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