Denver's 2104 Budget: Smart and Responsible
Last week, I submitted my 2014 budget proposal for consideration by City Council, city employees, and the residents and businesses of Denver. I’m extremely proud of this plan – it is smart, responsible and allows us to continue restoring services lost during the recession.
For the first time in five years – thanks to your approval of Measure 2A, a recovering economy and prudent fiscal management – the City and County of Denver will not face a budget shortfall in 2014. After a half-decade of painful, difficult budget cuts, we are emerging from the downturn as a vibrant city that is growing its economic base, revitalizing its neighborhoods and making intentional investments for the future.
The 2014 budget proposal reinforces my unwavering commitment to deliver the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost. A few highlights include:
- Establishing a $3 million housing fund to build new and much-needed workforce housing, as well as additional funding for homeless services and the medically indigent.
- Hiring up to 80 new police officers, 15 firefighters and additional sheriff’s deputies during peak times to keep Denver safe while maintaining a focus on crime-prevention.
- Investing $2 million to advance transformational change in long-overlooked neighborhoods adjacent to Interstate 70.
- Eliminating “convenience fees” charged to consumers who pay their city fees, bills and fines with a credit card, saving citizens $2 million a year and encouraging more Denver residents to make payments online.
- Phasing out the city’s sales and use tax on aviation parts, which will keep us competitive with other cities around the country and help attract new aviation maintenance jobs to the metro area.
- Dedicating $500,000 to the implementation of Denver Moves, the city’s multi-modal transit infrastructure plan, to make our streets safer for walking, biking and riding.
The budget also maintains my commitment to ensuring all of Denver’s children are prepared to compete and succeed in the new global economy and that none of our youngsters get left behind. Thanks to voter passage of Measure 2A last year, we are providing expanded summer, after-school and child-care services, and giving kids free access to Denver’s recreation centers and pools. And we are putting more officers on the streets, improving our parks, increasing library hours, and paving streets that have gone unpaved for decades.
The budget plan also continues to implement recommendations from the Structural Financial Task Force, including $2.9 million in savings from health and pension cost-sharing with city employees. We are also becoming more cost effective and efficient. Through my Peak Performance business-improvement initiative, we have indentified $9 million more in additional savings and efficiencies.
We will continue to evaluate and re-evaluate all aspects of city government, and we will continue to use the budget as a guidepost as we establish Denver as a smart, world-class city where everyone matters.
To review the entire budget, please click here.
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