Mayor John Hickenlooper today delivered a proposed 2011 budget to City Council that keeps the City moving forward while providing sustainable options and operational flexibility.
“The 2011 budget marks the third year in a row we have had to close a deficit between projected revenues and expenditures to balance the budget,” Hickenlooper wrote in a letter addressed to the City Council, City employees and Denver residents. “It required that we find sustainable ways to more efficiently and effectively maintain the core services that are most critical to our residents.”
Total General Fund expenditures for 2011 are projected to be $896.6 million. While that’s an increase of 4.1 percent from the original 2010 operating budget, it’s 5 percent less than it would have grown had the City done nothing to balance the budget. There is some growth in the 2011 budget for the maintenance and operation of new facilities coming online in 2010 and 2011, including the Green Valley Ranch Library, the Central Park Recreation Center and the Justice Center complex. These facilities will be operated at levels consistent with similar City facilities.
“These continue to be tough times to balance a city budget but Mayor Hickenlooper, his staff, and our City employees have met the challenge with characteristic discipline and ingenuity,” said City Council President Chris Nevitt. “City Council looks forward to reviewing the budget in the coming weeks and working with the administration to ensure we make the best of difficult decisions for the city we love and the citizens we serve.”
To close a $100 million shortfall projected through the end of 2011, the City will follow a plan similar to last year that achieves costs savings, enhances revenue where appropriate and prudently uses available reserves.
The $100 million gap was closed by:
• Efficiencies and savings $52 million
• Revenue enhancements $39 million
• Use of Reserves $9 million
“City Employees and our community have exhibited great resolve in the face of difficult economic conditions in recent years,” Hickenlooper wrote in his letter. “Collectively, we have a certain Western spirit of toughness and innovation that eliminates barriers to progress. We will need these attributes as we march toward 2011 and beyond.”
The proposed 2011 budget is available online at www.denvergov.org.
Communications Director Eric Brown or
Deputy Comm. Dir. Sabrina D’Agosta