Basalt’s budget drops 16 percent | AspenTimes.com

Basalt’s budget drops 16 percent

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – The Basalt Town Council gave final approval Tuesday night to a 2010 budget that is down 16 percent from this year.

The general fund expenditures will fall to $6.3 million from $7.4 million, according to Town Manager Bill Kane. The recession forced the town government to cut expenses, just like virtually every business and individual, he said.

The number of full-time equivalent positions will be reduced from 35 to 29 next year. The town laid off two employees, and another part-time worker who is leaving in 2010 won’t be replaced. Other reductions came through attrition.

Salaries for all workers were frozen for 2010. Employees will be furloughed six days throughout the first half of the year, and the furloughs will continue throughout 2010 if necessary.

The town’s health and wellness benefit was suspended, and there will be no buy-back of unused sick time. Both benefits will be revisited next year.

The council approved a temporary decrease in the property tax mill levy. It will drop from 5.1807 this year to 3.873 next year.

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Mayor Leroy Duroux credited the staff with making some tough decisions to reduce the budget. “We can hope for a better tomorrow,” he said.