Vail to see budget shortfalls in 2012 |

Vail to see budget shortfalls in 2012

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
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VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Town Council got its first look Tuesday at the town’s budget over the next five years – a budget that will present its fair share of challenges as time goes on.

“It demonstrates the challenges we have ahead of us, especially the shortfalls we have in 2012,” said Kathleen Halloran, the town’s manager of budgets and financial reporting.

The 2011 General Fund budget should have a $447,193 surplus at the end of that year, however the following year is expected to have a $500,000 shortfall – a shortfall that grows each year through 2015.

Total revenues are not growing at the same rate as expenditures, according to a memo to the Town Council from Town Manager Stan Zemler, Halloran and Finance Director Judy Camp.

Departments have made major cuts in both employees and other operating expenses, but the five-year outlook forecasts a need for more reductions. The town is working on a plan to help fix the shortfalls, which includes looking at all operating expenditures and the town’s organizational structure, including any opportunities for contract services.

Salary and benefits are something several Town Council members have concerns about – the 2011 budget shows a $313,000 increase in merit-based performance bonuses, although the money will only be paid if employees do in fact go above and beyond.

“We’ve got to rein in these costs if we’re going to present a balanced budget in the future,” Councilman Kevin Foley said. “We really need to be looking at where we are as an organization. Salaries and benefits continue to skew this budget upward and onward – I don’t see that as a viable financial model.”

Town Manager Stan Zemler said the town staff would have a detailed presentation for the Town Council on Nov. 16 that should answer many questions surrounding the town’s benefits program. The town staff will also show a comparison to other resort towns’ employee benefits programs.

The first reading of the 2011 budget is scheduled for Nov. 2.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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