City of Grand Junction forced to cut $5.5 million from 2010 budget

City Manager Laurie Kadrich presented $5.5 million in budget cuts Wednesday night to the Grand Junction City Council, and they will take effect immediately.

The council did not need to vote on the proposed cuts or spending deferrals for the city’s 2010 budget for them to be enacted.

Kadrich’s list of 14 items to cut included nixing the Grand Junction’s Neighborhood Services Division and sending code and weed enforcement to other city departments. Two of the city’s three code-enforcement officers have accepted an early-retirement package, and the remaining officer will receive backup help from other city employees with code training when needed, Kadrich said.

The city’s weed-abatement, leaf-pickup and spring-cleaning programs will continue.

The city’s street overlay program, though, will not continue, at least for this year. The city also will refrain from replacing curb gutters and replacing or constructing sidewalks this year, and it will reduce storm-water drainage, line and catch-basin cleaning.

The chipseal program, which revitalizes pavement on city streets, will continue but in a revised fashion. Some neighborhoods may see chipsealing performed in two installments over the next two years instead of the usual single installment.

The city will cut down on advertising, printing, publication, uniform, clothing, training and contract services to save money. It will plant fewer trees this year, reduce overtime and seasonal hours and begin a second round of offering early-retirement packages.

Technology purchases, computer replacements, police-vehicle and firefighting-equipment purchases and other capital costs will be deferred until next year.

The city also will delay paying Mesa State College $500,000 for economic development or paying $200,000 toward a fire station alerting system until at least the fourth quarter of 2010.

The city is making budget cuts because sales tax revenue, a major source of city funding, has been lower than anticipated during the first two months of this year. January sales and use tax revenue was about 20 percent below January 2009 collections, while February was down 16 percent compared with February 2009.

City officials are bracing for multiple scenarios, including a $2.5 million budget gap if revenue picks up to original projections after the first quarter of the year, to a $10.2 million shortfall if every month averages out to be as far below 2009 levels as January was.


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