County approves 2017 balanced operating budget without reduction in services or staff

PRESS RELEASE
November 21, 2016

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) adopted the county’s 2017 budget Monday, Nov. 14.

Revenues for 2017 are expected to be approximately $91 million, about $14 million less than 2016 revenues. The reduction is due primarily to a $17 million decline in collections of oil and gas property tax – a 35% decrease from that sector, due to declining natural gas production and soft market pricing.

In total, the 2017 county budget appropriates $105,687,458 for expenditures. The budget will implement $86.5 million for operations, $11.7 million for capital, and $7.5 million for discretionary expenditures. Interfund transfers and grants to other government entities make up part of the discretionary expenditures. Overall, there is a decrease in expenditures of approximately $15.6 million, or 13 percent, from the 2016 amended budget.

“The direction from the board to our staff was to provide a balanced operating budget, maintain services at their current level, not increase employee count, while providing an employee cost of living increase,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky. “We appreciate management and staff meeting those goals.”

The 2017 year end fund balances are projected to be approximately $111 million, a $14 million reduction from 2016 year end reserves.

County Manager Kevin Batchelder stated, “We have spent a lot of time considering the reduction in revenues and evaluating how to provide the current level of services to our residents, while still maintaining a balanced operating budget. We believe we have reached a budget that will serve the community well. I personally want to thank the elected officials and county department heads for their work on this budget.”

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