Vail’s 2010 budget available for public review
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Public hearings will take place Sept. 15 and Oct. 6 as the Town Council reviews Vail’s 2010 municipal budget.
The proposed $48.4 million fiscal year plan is available on the town’s web site at http://www.vailgov.com. The budget hearings will take place during the council’s regularly scheduled meetings, which begin at 6 p.m. in the Vail Town Council Chambers.
Overall, the 2010 budget recommendation includes no increase to operating expenses, but also no substantial service cuts. The latest recommendation uses $139,124 of general fund surplus revenues from 2008 to support 2010 operations, down from $473,000 proposed previously.
The decrease is the result of adjustments to both revenue and expenditures. Property tax revenue was increased by $200,000 for 2010 based on a preliminary certification of values from the county assessor. Expenditure savings came from general liability insurance final premiums and the reduction of one planner position within the community development department.
The town’s current operational budget for 2009 includes use of $827,450 of the $3.2 million surplus from 2008, which was a record year for town revenues despite the downturn in the fourth quarter.
By 2011, a goal has been set to balance the budget using incoming revenues – no surplus revenues will be used.
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 35 percent of annual revenue for 2010. Real Estate Transfer Tax projections have been adjusted to $4.3 million for 2010, which represents 9 percent of total annual revenues and down from $9.1 million collected in 2008.
Recommended general fund operating expenditures total $29.1 million for 2010, down 7 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 36.3 percent of total wages. The proposed budget includes 287 full-time equivalent positions, down from 300 at the beginning of 2009. Of these, 220 are full-time regular employees.
During 2009, the town reduced a net of 12.6 full-time equivalent employees. 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.
The latest draft of the 2010 proposed budget for capital projects is $16.7 million, down from $20.8 million recommended previously and down from $25.5 million budgeted in 2009. Projects included in the budget represent an emphasis on maintaining infrastructure and equipment to include:
Neighborhood Roads, $1.1 million (Mill Creek Circle)
Purchase of 6 buses, $2.2 million
Annual capital maintenance of facilities, parking structures and streets, $1.8 million
Continued master planning at Ford Park, including parking survey work, $1 million
Improvements to Vail Recreation District-managed assets, $690,000
Reconstruction of Red Sandstone park and playground, $439,000
The revised budget recommendation includes the deferral of $5.6 million in projects, including the reconstruction of Vail Valley Drive and widening of that same area for a bike/pedestrian path, at $2.6 million; widening of frontage road lanes for bike/pedestrian paths, at $3.2 million; and Interstate-70 noise mitigation projects, at $500,000.
To comment on the budget in advance of the public hearings, contact the Town Council at 970- 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.