Grand Junction council adopts 2018 budget

The Grand Junction City Council has approved a budget for 2018 that includes increased spending for public safety, street work and economic development.

The  overall 2018 city budget totals $161.1 million, an increase of 15 percent over the adopted budget for 2017. The general fund budget totals $70.1 million.

The approval of the budget follows an eight-month planning process that included four workshops and two city council meetings.

“As is always the case, a lot of pain-staking work went in to the preparation of the budget because it guides everything we do,” said Grand Junction Mayor Rick Taggart.

“The city manager and his staff brought us a balanced budget that we were all able to support because it was based on so much discussion with city council and really solid planning and research,” Taggart said. “We are fortunate that we are seeing revenues that are increasing and we remain hopeful that this trend will continue and our economy will continue to grow. This is a budget that really focuses on serving the citizens of Grand Junction.”    

The budget takes into account the city’s strategic plan, 10-year capital plan and a 5-year financial forecast as well as revenue projections based on economic indicators. City sales tax collections are projected to increase 1 percent in 2018.

Budgeted spending for 2018 reflects an emphasis on public safety, infrastructure and diversification of the economic base.

Among other things, the 2018 city budget:

Authorizes 628 full-time positions, more than half of which are in public safety. The budget also adds 10 new public safety positions, 20 over the next two years.

Includes a $14.6 million increase in capital spending. Spending for street maintenance and construction is budgeted to increase 70 percent to $6 million.

Includes a north area ambulance station and improvements to Two Rivers Convention Center downtown.

Increases economic development investment 76 percent to more than $5.4 million. The city expects to partner with the Downtown Development Authority and private industry in major economic development projects.

More information about the 2018 budget, including budget documents and a PowerPoint presentation, is available from the city website at www.gjcity.org.