Sep 152009
 
Authors: Matt Minich

The City of Fort Collins will likely be seeing large-scale cuts in coming years, according to the biannual budget proposed to City Council Tuesday night by City Manager Darin Atteberry.

The proposal, which outlines the city’s spending in 2010 and 2011, suggests $7.4 million in cuts from 2009’s total budget of $109.1 million.

Notable proposed cuts are from the city’s pavement management and parks and recreation programs and span across many programs and departments throughout the city.

Under the proposed budget, Fort Collins residents would see a 9.5 percent increase in utility fees. Atteberry estimated, in his presentation to the council, that this equates to an average $10-per-month increase for each household within the city.

“(This budget) is the result of hundreds of hours of teamwork and collaboration” between the city manager and an executive team, and is not yet finalized, Atteberry said.

Atteberry’s proposal was open for a public hearing Tuesday. Fewer than a dozen community residents expressed a variety of objections to the budget.

Of those in attendance, several came to advocate against the removal of Dial-a-ride, an alternative transit system for the city’s disabled citizens, from the budget.

The council and Atteberry assured attendees that the council had no intention of removing the program from the budget, and that its absence from the proposal was no more than an oversight.

Council will not officially adopt or reject the budget until early October, and will be open to community input until that time.

“The budget is not finalized until the council finalizes the budget,” Mayor Doug Hutchinson said.

People can e-mail their questions and concerns to the mayor and members of city council on the Fort Collins city Web site: http://www.fcgov.com/council.

Senior Reporter Matt Minich can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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