Government tracker: Eagle County passes $85.8 million budget |

Government tracker: Eagle County passes $85.8 million budget

Present: Sara Fisher, Jon Stavney, Peter Runyon.

Issue: Passing the county’s 2011 budget.

How they voted: 3-0 to approve.

The details: The county will spend a total of $85.8 million across all its several funds. General fund spending is expected to be about $32.2 million. Property tax rates for 2011 will be the same as they were in 2010.

The county will take in more money than it spends this year, banking the money for 2012 and beyond, when property tax revenues are expected to drop by at least 30 percent.

The county’s road and bridge department, which depends on a separate property tax stream, is banking more than $2 million in 2011 in anticipation of a big loss of revenue in 2012. County finance director John Lewis said if property values don’t start rising again in 2013 (for taxes collected in 2014), the road and bridge department could face annual shortfalls of $700,000 or more, not quite 10 percent of its 2011 budget.

What’s next? The county by the end of the year must certify and submit to the state the property tax rates – mill levies – for itself and the more than 70 other property tax-collecting districts in the county.

Who they talked to: County finance director John Lewis.

What they talked about: The county spends about $250,000 per year on various office supplies. That business is awarded by contract every year. The leading candidate for 2011 was Staples in Glenwood Springs, the company that earned the contract for 2010. Runyon and Stavney wondered if the county might be better off doing business with a company based in Eagle County, since even a national chain hires local residents.

But the bid from Office Depot in Avon came in about 15 percent above Staples’ bid.

“At that point, you have to consider your responsibility to the taxpayers,” Runyon said.

The commissioners agreed to keep the contract with Staples.

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