2018 budget includes money for more police and fire employees

Sept. 19 is scheduled date for final reading of proposed $241 million budget

Posted 9/5/17

Castle Rock has begun 2018 budget discussions and among its top priorities for the coming year are public safety and infrastructure.

The proposed 2018 budget of $241.21 million, of which $102.2 million is for capital improvements, does not …

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2018 budget includes money for more police and fire employees

Sept. 19 is scheduled date for final reading of proposed $241 million budget

Posted

Castle Rock has begun 2018 budget discussions and among its top priorities for the coming year are public safety and infrastructure.

The proposed 2018 budget of $241.21 million, of which $102.2 million is for capital improvements, does not include any new or increased taxes and the 2018 mill levy rate will be less than or equal to the 2017 rate of 1.473 mills.

“Budget is about priorities and we really want to reflect the community’s priorities,” Town Manager Dave Corliss told council Aug. 15. “We want to reflect the council’s priorities.”

Corliss said 75 percent of the proposed increases to the general fund are for public safety costs. The proposed 2018 budget appropriates $51,445,199, up from the adopted 2017 budget, which appropriated $47,936,117. Among this year’s expenditures are a new fire station, fire equipment and new personnel across multiple town departments.

Fire Chief Art Morales said the department would be requesting an additional $2 million in annual operating costs for Fire Station 152, which the town is building to service the Crystal Valley area. The department will hire 12 new employees to staff the station, whose salaries and benefits will cost approximately $1.56 million from the general fund. The station’s operating budget would be an estimated $390,248 for the nine months it is open in 2018.

Police Chief Jack Cauley is also requesting five more personnel for his department— a special operations sergeant, a public information officer, a community service officer and two dispatchers.

“We’re requesting two dispatchers due to growth and an increase in calls,” he said, explaining calls rose approximately 3 percent between 2014 and 2016.

This year’s water rates and fees will not change for existing customers, but Director of Utilities Mark Marlowe said he’ll also be requesting three new water plant operators to help the town ensure plants are monitored 24/7.

“That is primarily being driven by the fact that our systems are becoming very complicated,” Marlowe said. “We want to have eyes on the system at all times.”

Public Works Director Bob Goebel said his department will replace 23 vehicles and add five more, although overall costs for the town’s fleet services are down by 33 percent from 2017, when Goebel said the town had higher equipment costs.

The transportation capital budget will increase by about 80 percent for planned roadway improvements, including $4.26 million at the intersection of Founders Parkway and Allen Way, an estimated $3.46 million at Founders Parkway and Crowfoot Valley Road and $4 million to expand the department’s service center.

Budget requests from Parks and Recreation include $2 million for a new neighborhood park in an undetermined location and $2 million for a one-mile extension of the East Plum Creek Trail.

A budget message written by Corliss to council states, ”even with additional resources incorporated to maintain levels of service, annual operating revenues exceed annual operating expenditures, meaning the proposed budget is balanced.”

Corliss presented an introduction of the draft 2018 budget to council on Aug. 15. Council is scheduled to hear an official first reading on Sept. 5 before considering the final reading of the budget on Sept. 19.

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