Snowmass cuts 2009 budget by 10 percent |

Snowmass cuts 2009 budget by 10 percent

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” Citing the uncertain economy and weak winter bookings, the Snowmass Village Town Council cut its 2009 budget by 10 percent Monday.

The cut removes no full-time staff, but institutes a hiring freeze and could eliminate some seasonal positions in the parking and transportation departments, Town Manager Russell Forrest said.

But most of the cuts, he argued, will not deeply affect residents. Among them are the elimination of the Junior Ranger program, delaying a road grader purchase and slashing the G3 Mountain Bike Race.

The exception is a cut to evening bus service, the exact details of which are being worked out. Between 8:45 p.m. and 10:45 p.m., bus service on many routes is slated for replacement with on-demand service. However, evening service with high ridership, such as that to Club Commons, the Rodeo Lot or the Snowmass Recreation Center, will likely be preserved.

The 10 percent cut is the first of what could be further cuts on Jan. 20, when the Town Council plans to revisit the budget. Based on estimates of holiday-season sales tax revenues, it could decide to implement budget cuts of up to 20 percent. Such a “worst case” budget would cut all council donations, reduce the number of free summer concerts and reduce parking enforcement, among other things.

Even in the harshest of Snowmass Village’s contingency budgets, all of the town government’s full-time jobs are preserved, although seasonal positions will continue to be cut.

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