Added city spending in Aspen: $23.5M
ASPEN ” City Hall is looking to increase its expenditures by $23.5 million to pay for extra costs that have crept up in recent months.
The Aspen City Council will consider adopting a supplemental budget increase Monday that includes $3.35 million in new requests, $13.5 million in operational items and capital improvements, and $4.1 million in technical adjustments. There are other expenditures that will be absorbed through budget savings.
The additional expenses will take the 2008 budget from $104.7 million to $128.2 million in expenditure appropriations. The additions to the budget are routine and occur a few times a year, said Assistant City Manager Bentley Henderson.
There are 2007 carry-forward savings of $2 million from various departments which will be used this year. Departments are allocated those amounts as rewards for finding efficiencies in their operations. The one-time appropriations can be spent on items related to each department’s mission.
Another component of the budget increase includes carry-forward requests that are capital improvements and operational items that were budgeted in 2007 but will be completed this year.
New requests were reviewed by the council during this past year and cover everything from donations to local organizations to fireworks on New Year’s Eve to city building remodels.
– The asset management capital fund is requesting the largest amount ” $1,487,340. A pedestrian and traffic improvement design for Park Avenue will cost $32,043; $170,000 for curb and gutter work on Garmisch Street from Durant Avenue to Main Street; $25,000 for exterior improvements to the Isis Theater; $5,700 for parking lot lighting at the animal shelter; $170,000 is needed for the first floor and second floor remodel at City Hall’s and $834,600 is needed to pay for the remodel of the building department’s new office at 517 E. Hopkins Ave. Another $200,000 is needed to pay for the remodel of the City Council chambers. All of that money will be taken out of the general fund.
– The engineering department is asking for $54,000 for its share of the rent at 517 E. Hopkins Ave.
– The City Council is requesting $61,250. The Aspen Chamber Resort Association will get $10,000 for its customer service program; Jazz Aspen Snowmass will get $25,000 for a free music stage on the Cooper Avenue mall during the June festival; $6,250 will go toward a portion of the cost for a feasibility study for a local senior housing facility and $20,000 will pay for expenses related to a citizen’s task force overseeing City Hall’s finances.
– Environmental health wants $2,000 for “Operation Quiet Aspen,” which will be an educational program aimed at reducing noise levels throughout the downtown core. A citizen campaign will be launched and publicity will require signs at both entrances to Aspen, as well as buttons with a “Quiet Aspen” logo, bumper stickers, informational leaflets, posters, hotel room tent cards and bulletins on GrassRoots TV.
– The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) department needs $3,500 for a census and address update project. The U.S. Census Bureau is preparing for the 2010 census and is partnering with local governments to update local address information. A temporary employee will be hired to assist GIS staff to complete the project in the city and the county, which is estimated to cost $6,500. Pitkin County will pay $3,500 toward the project. The GIS department will integrate voter and utility billing records, and be comparing that information to census data. This is the first census where local governments have been asked to provide updated road and address data in digital format, city officials said.
– The special events department is requesting $20,000 for a New Year’s Eve celebration, which includes two sessions of fireworks.
– The recreation department wants $10,000 to open the clay tennis courts at the Aspen Golf and Tennis Club. About four weeks of man power is needed to lay new clay, level the courts, apply new lines, and start up and repair the irrigation system that feeds the courts.
– The golf course needs $2,000 to buy new benches. The money will be reimbursed by contributions.
– The parks capital fund is requesting $500,000 to buy a piece of land at Burlingame Ranch to be used as a park located next to the employee housing complexes.
– Close to $300,000 is being requested by various departments for staff changes, employee compensation and retirements.
– The community development department needs $45,000 for the city’s portion of the costs associated with the Lift One Task Force, a citizen committee that is creating a master plan for the base of Aspen Mountain.
– The housing development fund is requesting $30,000 to lobby for tax free bonds to pay for the development of affordable housing in the future.
– The Truscott housing fund needs $211,500 for roof repairs, a new water softener and snow removal.
– The stormwater fund needs $815,900 for appropriations of the operational and capital budget for the stormwater fund. The money will be 100 percent offset by the property tax mill levy and development fees.
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