Dealing out the dollars

Council, city staff conduct hearing about 2007 budget

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On the agenda

8 to 8:30 a.m. Presentation of the proposed 2007 budget

8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Review of 2007 general operations budget, including all city departments

9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Review of 2007 enterprise budget, including water and airport funds

10:45 to 11 a.m. Review of 2007 internal services budget, including central and fleet services

11 a.m. to noon. Five-year Capital Improvement Program

1 to 2 p.m. Community Support

2 to 2:30 p.m. Public comment

2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Review, wrap-up

If you go

What: All-day meeting of the Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss the 2007 budget

When: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today, with a break for lunch at noon

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Contact: Call city offices at 879-2060

— Today, the Steamboat Springs City Council takes a big first step toward allocating more than $47.5 million in projected expenditures for 2007.

In an all-day public hearing at Centennial Hall, the council will review the proposed 2007 budget, a massive document prepared by City Manager Alan Lanning and Director of Financial Services Don Taylor. The budget includes funding requests from all city departments, including transportation, public safety, and parks, recreation and open space; capital projects including downtown improvements and the new community center; and numerous other city expenses.

Joan Hodo, staff assistant in Taylor's office, compiled the proposed budget into a thick three-ring binder. A copy of the proposed budget is available for public review at City Hall, 137 10th St.

City Clerk Julie Jordan said today's hearing will allow the council to discuss controversial expenses and funding programs, with the goal of agreeing on the entire budget document and preparing an ordinance for official City Council approval at upcoming meetings.

Although the 2007 proposal lists total projected

expenditures of $47,592,791 - nearly $2 million more than the 2007 total projected revenues of $45,952,760 - the city also has more than $10 million in reserves.

City Council President Ken Brenner said much of today's hearing will focus on whether the city wants to dip into its reserves to fund certain programs or projects.

"There should be some interesting conversations," Brenner said.

Jordan said numerous items on the agenda could be "sleepers," or items that unexpectedly lead to lengthy council discussions.

One such item could be the transportation budget, Jordan said, citing a possible proposal from resort companies seeking to create a joint winter transportation service with the city.

In other council news:

- Jordan said she has received two applications for the District 3 council seat vacated last month by Kevin Kaminski, who moved out of the district. Business owner Stephen Hitchcock and psychotherapist Karen Post have applied for the position, Jordan said. The deadline for submitting applications to Jordan's City Hall office is 5 p.m. Friday.

- The council decided at a recent retreat to begin meeting four times a month, rather than three. The council will conduct regular business on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, Jordan said, and hold meetings labeled "work sessions" on the second and fourth Tuesday each month. Although it will be the intent of the council to not take formal action on agenda items at work sessions, Jordan said the council will have that option if necessary.

The next regular City Council meeting is Oct. 10.

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