Jan 282004
 
Authors: James Baetke

Fort Collins officials recently released their annual Report to

the Community for 2003, summarizing some of the successes in the

community as well as the failures.

The 2003 Report to the Community concludes that the city

“endured tough economic conditions,” during the course of last

year, but it also noted many accomplished goals.

“The overall national, regional and local downturn of the

economy was a struggle,” said Darin Atteberry, assistant city

manager of Fort Collins.

At the peak of the Fort Collins economy in 2001, sales and use

tax collections were at about $71 million. In 2003, the city

collected just under $68 million and forced the city to make $2.5

million in budget cuts.

Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez said he believes the city let

down the community by not “prioritizing public safety.” He also

said there were certain projects, such as the construction of

Fossil Creek Park, that the city could have held back on to better

police and fire services in the community.

“The large accomplishment of 2003 was the fact we opened Fossil

Creek Park,” Atteberry said, adding that the park is unique and fun

for the whole family.

Fossil Creek Park was constructed from funds not dependent on

taxes but is maintained by city funds. The park was the first

community park built since 1984.

According to the report and Fort Collins Budget Director Doug

Smith, the 2003 budget cuts did not affect the police department in

either taking or granting additional funds.

Smith said the police department has faced budget cuts for 2004

in that $520,000 has already been slashed from the department.

“The critical downfall is that we failed to give enough priority

to public safety,” Martinez said.

Martinez said his main goal for 2004 is to focus on the sluggish

economy in Fort Collins, as well as to focus on public safety.

City Council took measures last year to improve the local

economy by beginning to implement a summit on economic development,

starting an economic advisory council and hiring an economic

adviser, Martinez said.

“I think we do need to watch how the city is growing and watch

the need for additional police,” said Marty Tharp, City Council

member for District 5, southeast of Drake Road and College Avenue

and northwest of Timberline and Harmony roads.

Tharp said she believes the city made the proper choice in not

adding to the city’s public safety department and said nothing was

taken away from it either.

Despite last year’s sub-par economy, Martinez and Fischbach

focused on the positive effects in the city by detailing in their

report the encouraging news and developments made possible by the

city government.

The report praised the attention to transportation issues around

the city, including the widening of Lemay Avenue from Muirfield Way

to Trilby Road and improving traffic signals around the city.

Additionally, last year the Edora Pool Ice Center received a new

second layer of ice, the City Park Pool was renovated and the Fort

Collins Public Library celebrated its 100th anniversary, the report

said.

Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez and City Manager John Fischbach

were the main contributors and authors of the report.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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Jan 282004
 
Authors: James Baetke

Fort Collins officials recently released their annual Report to

the Community for 2003, summarizing some of the successes in the

community as well as the failures.

The 2003 Report to the Community concludes that the city

“endured tough economic conditions,” during the course of last

year, but it also noted many accomplished goals.

“The overall national, regional and local downturn of the

economy was a struggle,” said Darin Atteberry, assistant city

manager of Fort Collins.

At the peak of the Fort Collins economy in 2001, sales and use

tax collections were at about $71 million. In 2003, the city

collected just under $68 million and forced the city to make $2.5

million in budget cuts.

Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez said he believes the city let

down the community by not “prioritizing public safety.” He also

said there were certain projects, such as the construction of

Fossil Creek Park, that the city could have held back on to better

police and fire services in the community.

“The large accomplishment of 2003 was the fact we opened Fossil

Creek Park,” Atteberry said, adding that the park is unique and fun

for the whole family.

Fossil Creek Park was constructed from funds not dependent on

taxes but is maintained by city funds. The park was the first

community park built since 1984.

According to the report and Fort Collins Budget Director Doug

Smith, the 2003 budget cuts did not affect the police department in

either taking or granting additional funds.

Smith said the police department has faced budget cuts for 2004

in that $520,000 has already been slashed from the department.

“The critical downfall is that we failed to give enough priority

to public safety,” Martinez said.

Martinez said his main goal for 2004 is to focus on the sluggish

economy in Fort Collins, as well as to focus on public safety.

City Council took measures last year to improve the local

economy by beginning to implement a summit on economic development,

starting an economic advisory council and hiring an economic

adviser, Martinez said.

“I think we do need to watch how the city is growing and watch

the need for additional police,” said Marty Tharp, City Council

member for District 5, southeast of Drake Road and College Avenue

and northwest of Timberline and Harmony roads.

Tharp said she believes the city made the proper choice in not

adding to the city’s public safety department and said nothing was

taken away from it either.

Despite last year’s sub-par economy, Martinez and Fischbach

focused on the positive effects in the city by detailing in their

report the encouraging news and developments made possible by the

city government.

The report praised the attention to transportation issues around

the city, including the widening of Lemay Avenue from Muirfield Way

to Trilby Road and improving traffic signals around the city.

Additionally, last year the Edora Pool Ice Center received a new

second layer of ice, the City Park Pool was renovated and the Fort

Collins Public Library celebrated its 100th anniversary, the report

said.

Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez and City Manager John Fischbach

were the main contributors and authors of the report.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm