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Vail budget to be presented Tuesday

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Town Council will be reviewing the first draft of the town’s 2010 budget during the Sept. 1 work session with public hearings scheduled for Sept. 15 and Oct. 6. The proposed $52.4 million fiscal year plan is available on the town’s Web site at http://www.vailgov.com.

Overall, the 2010 budget recommendation includes no increase to operating expenses, but also no service cuts. The town will use part of a $3.2 million surplus from 2008 to maintain service levels through 2010 as part of a two-year fiscal management plan that will require additional reductions in 2011 to create an ongoing balanced budget.

Estimated revenues for the 2010 budget include sales tax projections of $16.6 million which is flat with the 2009 budget and a 15 percent decrease from 2008. Sales tax represents an estimated 37 percent of annual revenue for 2010. Real estate transfer tax projections of $4.7 million for 2010 represent 10 percent of total annual revenues and down from $9.1 million collected in 2008.

Recommended operating expenditures across all funds total $31.8 million for 2010, down 6 percent from the 2009 original budget and down 0.7 percent from the amended 2009 budget. During 2009, over $2.9 million in operating expenses were eliminated. The 2010 budget includes no increase to operating expenditures, no employee salary increases and limiting employee benefit costs to 36.4 percent of total wages. The proposed budget includes 288 full-time equivalent positions, down from 300 FTEs at the beginning of 2009. Of these, 221 are full-time regular employees. During 2009, the town reduced a net of 11.6 FTEs. The only additions to the proposed 2010 budget are two dispatch services positions which will be externally funded by the E911 Board.

The town’s economic development initiatives include a recommended $1.1 million to support special events such as Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Vail Jazz Festival, Street Beat, Vail International Dance Festival, Hot Summer Nights, Spring Back to Vail, Oktoberfest, Teva Mountain Games and the Vail Farmers Market.

Other areas of focus include a recommended $500,000 to support the purchase of employee housing; $265,000 to fund environmental programs such as recycling programs and $4.7 million to support the town’s parking and transportation operations.

The proposed budget for capital projects is $20.8 million, down from $25.5 million in 2009. Projects included in the budget represent an emphasis on maintaining infrastructure and equipment to include:–

• Neighborhood roads, $2.9 million.

• Purchase of six buses, $2.2 million.

• Widening of roadway shoulders to create bike/pedestrian paths, $2.3 million.

• Annual capital maintenance of facilities, parking structures and streets, $1.7 million.

• Continued master planning at Ford Park, including parking survey work, $1 million.

To comment on the budget in advance of the public hearings, call the Town Council at 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail towncouncil@vailgov.com.


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