Over the next month, the Colorado Springs City Council will scrutinize Mayor John Suthers’ proposed budget for 2020, which sets aside millions of dollars for police officers, firefighters, parks and accessibility.
Town halls, budget hearings and markup sessions are peppered throughout the coming weeks, giving residents and city staff a chance to comment on Suthers’ proposals.
Four meetings are scheduled on the budget — beginning as early as Friday — before the council is first expected to vote on the $331.1 million general fund recommendations, city spokesman Ted Skroback said in a release. Two votes are required of the council before the budget can formally be accepted.
The proposed budget would provide $9.65 million to increase pay for police, firefighters and civilian employees, plus $4.4 million to hire 20 police officers and eight firefighters. It would also boost park watering by $1.45 million and park maintenance and recreational and cultural services needs by $400,000.
In addition, the budget contains a $1.4 million boost for the city’s Americans with Disabilities Act program and operating costs.
Each year the mayor releases his proposed budget in October and meetings are scheduled so the council can hear input on the document and make changes as needed. The process has been streamlined in recent years with council member participation on the city’s budget committee affording them a chance to participate in the drafting process.
Last year, council members kept their red pens holstered and they canceled their annual budget markup meeting for what was believed to be the first time. Many attributed that painless approval process to the increased collaboration between the mayor’s office and the council.
The meetings will be held at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave. They are scheduled as follows:
City Council budget work session, all day Friday beginning at 9 a.m.
Public input meeting, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday.
City Council budget markup session, from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 29.
Introduction of 2020 budget at City Council work session, at 10 a.m. Nov. 7.
First reading of 2020 budget at City Council regular meeting, at 10 a.m. Nov. 12.
Second reading of 2020 budget ordinance at City Council regular meeting, at 10 a.m. Nov. 26.
The full proposed 2020 budget can be found at coloradosprings.gov/budget.