City of Grand Junction to increase spending on wages, public safety

Greg Caton

An increased budget for the City of Grand Junction will accommodate higher wages, infrastructure projects and new fire and police department positions and facilities.

The Grand Junction City Council adopted a 2020 budget that’s $5.4 million — or 3.5 percent — higher than the 2019 adopted budget.

The approval culminates a lengthy process involving the council, city staff and public, said Greg Caton, Grand Junction city manager.

“The document is directly aligned with city council’s newly adopted strategic plan, which makes it a strong road map for our organization moving into the future,” Caton said. “The 2020 budget is based on a combination of the community’s current needs and desires as well as some more strategic efforts that will help to strengthen our local economy into the future.”

The 2020 budget reflects a 3.5 percent wage adjustment for the nearly 700 full-time city employees.

The budget earmarks $11.8 million for sewer projects, $5.8 million for street maintenance and improvement projects, $5.6 million for water projects and another $3.5 million for a pedestrian bridge at the Riverfront at Dos Rios development. The budget allocates $10.4 million for infrastructure at Riverfront at Dos Rios.

The 2020 city budget also includes $4 million in new spending for the fire and police departments, including 15 new firefighter and three administrative positions for the fire department and seven officers and five civilian positions for the police department. The budget also accommodates the opening of a new fire station. That spending reflects revenue from a voter-approved tax increase to fund public safety.