Vail Valley Voices: Eagle County seeks your input into budgeting process |

Vail Valley Voices: Eagle County seeks your input into budgeting process

Keith Montag
Vail, CO, Colorado

Budget season is upon us and Eagle County has begun the process of looking ahead to 2010 and beyond.

Through careful planning and foresight, by both current and past administrations, the county is well-positioned to weather the current economic downturn. We have sufficient reserves, low debt and an excellent credit rating.

However, we must not become complacent.

We’ll be taking a “back to basics” approach to budgeting this year, carefully analyzing all of our programs to ensure they are performing efficiently and effectively, that they are still of value and that they continue to meet the needs of our citizens in these uncertain economic times.

Now, more than ever, we must focus on maintaining our core services and sustaining our community.

County funds that are dependent on sales tax collections, such as ECO Transit and the Capital Improvements Fund, are facing decreasing revenues and will continue to require close monitoring in the upcoming year and into the future. We look at these challenges as opportunities to evaluate how we currently do business and how we prioritize new projects.

As part of the budget process, the county’s property tax mill levy will be discussed. The state-mandated property valuation process recently completed by our Assessor’s Office indicates if our mill levy remains constant, property taxes will increase. Projected collections will be determined in August and certification of the mill levy will occur in December.

We invite your input throughout the entire process. Discussions on budget objectives are underway now, to be followed by work sessions on capital projects and community service grants, as well as review of proposed departmental budgets throughout the summer and fall. Final adoption of the budget is scheduled to occur in mid-December.

Agendas for all Board of County Commissioner meetings are available in advance by calling 328-8605 and are posted online at Meetings are open to the public and take place in the Eagle County Room, located at 500 Broadway in Eagle. Meetings are also broadcast live on ecoTV-18, channel 18 on the cable system and live via Web streaming at Archived meetings are available for review within one hour of completion at

We welcome your comments on the budget or any other county issue at anytime. Feel free to contact me or your county commissioners, Sara Fisher, Peter Runyon and Jon Stavney, at 328-8604 or

Keith Montag is the Eagle County manager.

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