Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Adams County Commissioners Adopt 2012 Budget

The Adams County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted its 2012 budget in the Dec. 14, 2011 public hearing. The $445.6 million budget represents a one percent decrease compared to the original 2011 budget. This decrease is the result of cutting back on operating expenses combined with the elimination of 42 full-time, vacant positions in 2012. The budget includes a net spend down of fund balance of nearly $8 million which includes the general fund, social services fund, golf course fund, waste management fund and minor spend downs in some of the county’s smaller funds.

“Adams County has the resources to sustain these planned expenditures,” said Chairman W. R. “Skip” Fischer. “We adopted a prudent budget in fiscally constrained times to make the best possible use of finite resources to serve our citizens.”

Even though there was a reduction of 42 positions, two new part-time positions were added for maintenance of the new Government Center to be paid for with the county’s sales tax. The District Attorney’s office also added two new positions, and county administration is adding a deputy county administrator position and a grants writer position to the 2012 budget. Two other positions were added to staff a soon-to-be-created Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee to help reduce the jail population and make the judicial process more efficient and less costly for taxpayers. To advance the county’s sustainability initiative, Adams County made its sustainability coordinator position permanent.

The only planned layoffs or furloughs contemplated in the 2012 budget are for the strategic outsourcing of a non-mandated food distribution program. This program is being assumed by the Food Bank of the Rockies.

The county approved a one percent market adjustment for all employees. A two percent salary pool was also approved for a one-time, merit-based lump sum to help keep up with inflation and recognize employees as the county continues to do more with less. Adams County employees have not received a market adjustment since 2009.

Significant budget items include $5.5 million for drainage projects and an associated community trail project for the Clay Street Drainage Outfall area. Also included in the newly adopted budget are $1.2 million for the 2012 presidential election, $200,000 for preliminary costs associated with 2012 construction of the Flat Rock Law Enforcement Training Facility and $270,000 for the public outreach and transportation portions of Adams County’s Comprehensive Plan.

Road and bridge projects for 2012 include $3.7 million in regular maintenance of county roads, streets and bridges. The county also budgeted $1 million in funding for Lowell Blvd. from Clear Creek to 62nd Ave. for road widening and pedestrian crossing improvements to the three existing railroad crossings and the two proposed RTD FasTracks crossings.

The county's 2012 budget is made up of 18 separate funds that pay for numerous public services. The county will also use voter-approved sales tax revenues for other transportation and open space projects. Like last year, property tax revenues are expected to decline again in 2012. Final assessed values are decreasing by 0.92 percent for taxes collected in 2012. This is the third consecutive year of declining property taxes.

The county anticipates collecting $118 million in property tax revenue next year. With this revenue, the county allocates the property tax mill levy to the following funds: general fund 22.896 mills, road and bridge fund 1.300 mills, social services fund 2.353 mills and the developmentally disabled fund mill levy 0.257 mills.
In accordance with state statutes, the budget is adopted in December for the upcoming calendar year. The budget will be available online after the first of the year at

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