Colorado

Nov 25, 2009 4:37 AM by Jeannette Hynes

City council approves 2010 budget cuts

Colorado Springs City Councilmembers approved the 2010 budget with a vote of 5-4 Tuesday night.

"I'm not happy about everything we've had to cut from this budget," says Colorado Springs Vice Mayor Larry Small, who voted for the budget. "But there's a reality we have to face.  Everything is not perfect right now.  In fact, things are in turmoil all around the city.  We're in very uncertain economic times."

The cuts come across the board including layoffs, cuts to the police and fire departments, public transportation, and parks.  It was earlier proposed that non-emergency city employees take 10 furlough days next year.  Instead, all city employees will receive three fewer vacation days.

Many of those councilmembers who didn't vote for the budget say phasing out the Stormwater Enterprise over two years, instead of immediately, breaks the trust of the community.

"We haven't hit bottom yet as far as being able to move forward as a community and repair our relationship and lay out a vision that everybody can get behind," says Councilmember Darryl Glenn.

Citizens voted to eliminate the Stormwater Enterprise in an election held a few weeks ago.

In a separate but related issue, councilmembers approved rate hikes for several Parks & Recreation programs including cemetery fees, sports programs, pavilion rentals, senior center and community center programs.

Councilmembers will make the second and final vote on the budget December 8, unless they amend anything else in the budget.  Then, the budget will need a third vote.

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