FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, September 14, 2007
Lindy Eichenbaum Lent or Ann Williams, Mayor’s Office, (720) 865-9016
Mayor Hickenlooper Delivers FY 2008 Budget Proposal to City Council
Balanced Budget Focuses on Community Priorities and Ongoing Operational Efficiencies
Mayor John Hickenlooper delivered his FY 2008 proposed budget to Denver City Council today, a balanced budget plan that reflects the administration’s focus on more effectively and efficiently delivering core services to the citizens of the City and County of Denver
“The proposed 2008 budget reflects our continued efforts to generate efficiencies within our existing programs and align limited additional resources with critical priorities that best and most directly serve the needs of our citizens,” Hickenlooper wrote in a letter to City Council and Denver
residents that accompanied the budget draft. “We wish to thank all those involved in the process for their time, thoughtfulness and energy. We also wish to thank our City workforce on whom we rely so heavily for providing such high quality service and for generating creative new ideas for driving efficiency and improving service. The 2008 budget continues our focus of making strategic investments in the areas we believe will bring us the highest return relative to our priorities as a community, as well as constantly seeking improvement and efficiency in our operations.”
For FY 2008, the administration has proposed an $866 million budget, representing 3.0 percent growth from the previous year. A mixed economic outlook continues to impact forecasted revenue growth and the local economy has not been immune from the changes in the national economy. While the downturn in the housing industry has negatively impacted the City’s revenue forecast, Denver
and the metro region continue to benefit from growth in tourism, the commercial real estate market and jobs. The resulting mixed outlook for Denver
has led to moderate forecasted revenue growth, requiring careful evaluation of all spending proposals to ensure they align with key priorities and available resources.
As always, the 2008 budget has been guided by feedback from the community and City Council and is organized around the City’s five guiding principles:
To make Denver
an even better place to live;
To create jobs and ensure economic vitality;
To enhance customer service;
To make Denver
city government a better place to work, and
To live within our means.
Some highlights include:
A continued focus on safety as the foundation of our quality of life and economic health, including increased efforts to reduce crime through the Crime Prevention and Control Commission, the use of DNA technology in the Crime Lab, ongoing investments in personal protective equipment, and increased safety recruitment efforts to diverse populations. Including those proposed for FY 2008, we will have hired and trained 516 new police recruits since 2003. Increased personnel combined with investments in safety-related technology enhancements and the implementation of new crime reduction strategies continues to yield results. Crime was down 12.1 percent through August of 2007 compared to 2006, and the 2008 budget will fund the key priorities necessary for the Police Department to continue to capitalize on its success at driving crime down.
Funding for the purchase of two new fire trucks to maintain our replacement schedule and ensure that our Fire Department is equipped to provide effective and timely responses.
Maintaining sustainable neighborhoods by adding new graffiti removal crews.
Restoring Library services by adding additional eight-hour days to six Denver Public Library branches that specialize in children’s programming.
Enhancing sustainability efforts by replacing some inefficient irrigation systems, enhancing recycling efforts and supporting multi-modal transportation.
The proposed FY 08 budget includes $44.5 million for capital projects in 2008, limited to critical maintenance projects, matching funds to state or federal dollars, legal obligations and economic development projects.
“In spite of our efforts to maximize our efficiencies and devote as many resources as possible to capital maintenance, we are again funding these activities at a level which will result in additional deferred maintenance requirements,” Hickenlooper wrote in his annual budget letter. “Our commitment to addressing this deferred capital maintenance challenge in a fiscally responsible, strategic manner has resulted in a proposed mill levy increase for capital maintenance and series of bond issues to address existing deferred maintenance.”
As currently constructed, the proposed 2008 capital budget assumes the status quo in terms of funding, but the administration has also prepared a detailed plan of how – pending voter approval – the additional resources generated by the maintenance mill levy would be used to address the City’s currently unfunded maintenance needs.
“This balanced budget addresses Denver’s key needs in a fiscally prudent manner,” said Claude Pumilia, chief financial officer for the City and County of Denver. “Throughout the budget process, City agencies have made difficult decisions to ensure that we use taxpayer dollars as efficiently as possible. In 2008, we will continue to focus on improving our ability to deliver positive results at the least possible cost.”
The Mayor and City Council will hold departmental budget briefings beginning in mid-September. Based on input during this review period, the Mayor will submit a recommended budget by October 15 to be followed by a public hearing on October 22 and additional City Council input. City Council will adopt a budget by November 12 and must enact an ordinance making FY 2008 appropriations by November 26, 2007.
A complete copy of the proposed 2008 budget is available at www.denvergov.org/budget.
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