Mayor John Hickenlooper announced today a final draft of the 2011 budget that includes more library and recreation center hours will be delivered to City Council next week.
“The budget challenges facing the City this year were significant,” Hickenlooper said. “We worked with Employees, all City agencies and the City Council to overcome a $100 million deficit at a time when we’ve already carved as much out of the budget as we can. We applaud the hard work by City employees during these difficult economic times, and we appreciate the efforts by City Council to help balance the budget.”
The City Council received the proposed 2011 budget on Sept. 15 and then met with major City agencies to review their individual spending plans. Those meetings culminated in a request from City Council to restore changes made to library and recreation center hours. In response to these requests, the City is making these budget changes:
• Restoring 16 hours at each of the four quadrant library branches: Woodbury, Montbello, Bear Valley and University Hills.
• Cancellation of the proposed staggered closure proposal for recreation centers.
• Restoration of 20.5 hours at nine recreation centers to current levels.
• Restoration of four weekend hours at the Martin Luther King Recreation Center. The current schedule of the therapy pool will be maintained.
To pay for these changes, the City will use increased revenue of $600,000 from Denver Public Schools. These dollars will help fund the City’s School Resource Officer program and allow other funds to be spent on libraries and recreation centers. Over the past decade, the City’s School Resource Officer program has been paid for with grant funds, by DPS and by the City. In 2011, DPS will pay 40 percent of the cost from its current budget and the City will cover the remaining costs.
“City Council spoke with one voice about restoring library and recreation center hours, and then we worked closely with the Mayor and his team to figure how to make it happen,” City Council President Chris Nevitt said. “We value our strong partnership with Mayor Hickenlooper as we navigate these difficult times.”
Also today, the City announced dates for planned five furlough days in 2011. The City is committed to reducing the number of necessary furlough days next year should its financial position improve.
The planned furlough days are (UPDATED Oct. 12, 2010):
Friday, Feb. 18. This is the Friday before President’s Day.
Friday, April 1. This is a Denver Public Schools holiday. April is also a three-paycheck month.
Friday, July 1. This is the Friday before Independence Day.
Friday, Sept. 2. This is the Friday before Labor Day. Also, September is a three-paycheck month.
Friday, Nov. 25. This is the Friday after Thanksgiving Day and is a Denver Public Schools holiday.
A final draft of the 2010 proposed budget will be delivered to City Council on Oct. 18. The City Council will consider final approval of the budget in early November.