The Bottom Line: 2014 Budget Prudent but Improves Services

The Bottom Line: 2014 Budget Prudent but Improves Services

Denver’s 2014 City Budget will guide spending across departments, expand access to programs and services, fund important priorities set by the City Council, and improve infrastructure.  For the first time in five years, thanks to voter approval of Measure 2A in 2012, a recovering economy, and strong fiscal management, Denver does not face a budget shortfall in 2014.  The Mayor’s original budget included $3 million to seed an affordable housing trust fund and new funding for bike-pedestrian planning and infrastructure in accordance with Council-adopted budget priorities.  Through additional dialogue with Council, the final budget will also help Denver keep pace with the quickly changing economy by ensuring we have adequate staffing to oversee plans and permitting.  

  • Denver’s overall general fund budget that funds most basic city services is approximately $1.64 billion, in addition to separate and distinct budgets of $161 million for Human Services and $803 million for Denver International Airport.
  • Denver has been recognized nationally as a trendsetter in delivering the highest quality services for the lowest possible cost, and next year Denver will grow our reserves to help protect us from unforeseen emergencies in the future.
  • Implementation of Measure 2A is about to add 200 additional police officers to improve response time, has already extended public library and recreation center hours, and paved over 300 miles of street before the snow began.
  • Acknowledging that Denver needs a comprehensive affordable housing plan to serve a broad range of low and moderate-income families, Mayor Hancock’s 2014 Budget, for the first time, will dedicate $3 million local dollars to leverage private investment in the creation and preservation of affordable housing. This money will seed a long-term housing funding initiative to supplement federal dollars, add rental-housing options, and address homeless housing needs and services. 
  • The 2014 budget adds $500,000 for multi-modal transportation options, including the implementation of Denver Moves, expanding existing infrastructure, and making the City’s streets safer for walking, biking and riding.  To support this work and demonstrate a long-term commitment to alternative transportation, Denver will hire new bike and pedestrian safety planners for the upcoming year.
  • With a focus on sustainability and to lower the amount of solid waste in landfills, the upcoming budget will also expand waste management routes across the City, fund additional trash barrels for underserved neighborhoods, and improve system coordination to reduce idle time and deliver services efficiently and equitably.  Additional funding for the Green Fleet program, highlighted in our September newsletter, will allow the transition of older service vehicles to be replaced by more fuel-efficient models.

To understand more about how a citywide budget works, use Denver's Backseat Budgeter to see the balance of revenues and expenditures needed to make a city function.  This tool, which increases transparency and understanding of Denver’s various departments and their purpose, allows users to makes hypothetical changes to the budget and understand the impact of each element to the whole. 

Posted on Dec 12 2013 (Archive on Jan 11 2014)
Posted by kpellegrin  Contributed by kpellegrin