Elbert County's 2020 Budget
Elbert County Commissioners have adopted the 2020 budget, representing another step in the right direction for the County.
The budget development was a collaborative effort between elected officials, County staff and residents. The recommended budget for 2020 is $32,510,609 for all funds, which represents a 6.38% increase from 2019. The Elbert County 10-year Strategic Plan was an important guide in the budget development process.
The budget addresses strategic priorities around fiscal sustainability, communications, transparency, workforce development, economic growth, and reflects the results of the 2018 and 2019 community surveys, which emphasized key citizen concerns including:
• Transparency in finance and decision-making
• Water planning
• Road conditions
The budget document includes the Road and Bridge Department’s five-year Transportation Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), containing a bridge, paved road, and gravel road assessment. Late in 2019, the County received a matching grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to complete a new and expanded Elbert County Master Transportation Plan. We plan to have the project completed in 2020, and it may drive future changes to the Transportation CIP.
The budget also includes $500,000 in critical infrastructure capital investments (repairs and critical preventative maintenance) to begin addressing the findings in the Facilities Condition Assessment report delivered in late 2019.
County revenues, the most significant of which is property tax, have increased by a bit over $3 million (10.37%) in 2020. There are no changes in property tax rates for the 2020 budget year, so additional property tax revenue is the result of reassessments of property values, new properties and improvements to existing properties.
County employee health insurance premiums increased by 6% from 2019, and the 2020 budget includes a 2% salary increase pool.
Realignment of positions in the Sheriff’s Office has allowed for two additional detentions deputies, and the 2020 budget includes five more employees than 2019’s budget:
• 1 FTE position for a Human Services Child Support Specialist
• 2 FTE positions for a Road and Bridge Blade Operator and Project Crew Member
• 1 FTE position for a Community and Development Services Land Use Planner (reauthorization of mid-year 2019 position)
There are also details relating to County capital leases and financing, fund accounts, and reserve increases. You can read about them in the budget document on the County’s website.
All these details reflect increasing financial stability and greater transparency in your County government.