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Setting the Priorities of Government - Community Forums

Setting the Priorities of Government
Additional Opportunity for Community Input

Background

Throughout the past few years, the Longmont City Council and staff have been faced with the challenge of providing quality municipal services to Longmont residents within an economic environment where available revenues to sustain those services (primarily from sales and use taxes and property taxes) are not keeping pace with the increasing costs to provide those services.  Based on varying assumptions, staff has projected the potential funding gap facing the General Fund for the 2009 budget to be anywhere from $900,000 - $1.6 million.

View the slide Presentation provided during the workshops (pdf file, 44kb)

Since 2002, staff has worked hard to shave operating budgets as much as possible while limiting the impact on services that Longmont residents have come to expect from its local government.  However, with the potential funding gap the City is facing in 2009, the City is faced with the likelihood of needing to reduce and/or eliminate some of the programs and services that it has previously offered to the community.

Over 200 Longmont residents recently participated in three community forums to provide City officials with input about their priorities for the following municipal services within the General Fund.

• Improve Economic Health which includes maintaining direct business support; planning for future economic opportunities in the community (e.g. economic gardening initiative; support of development and redevelopment projects; support of the downtown development authority) Main Street Image

• Improve Environmental Health which includes promoting, maintaining and preserving the aesthetics, safety and health of the built environment; maintaining and preserving the natural environment for quality of life (e.g. energy conservation at municipal facilities; forestry maintenance; right of way maintenance)

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• Improve Neighborhood Quality which includes planning for future neighborhood needs and maintaining quality of life; maintaining community inclusiveness; building neighborhood capacity; creating, maintaining and preserving neighborhood character and sense of place; affordable housing (e.g. community and neighborhood resources; code enforcement; parks maintenance; historic preservation) Outdoor Park Image
• Improve Community Safety (e.g. police; fire; municipal court; probation; city attorney; code enforcement; emergency communications - 911) Fire Department Image
• Improve Cultural, Educational, Recreation and Human Service Opportunities (e.g. parks development; library; museum; recreation; youth services; senior services; human service agency grants) Museum Image

Download the Community Forum Handout (pdf file, 1,010kb)

Longmont city officials will utilize the community’s input about municipal service priorities to help guide them in preparing the 2009 General Fund budget.  The relative priorities that will come out of the community forums and the online survey will be reviewed with Longmont City Council in mid-July for any further direction.  City officials will then proceed to prepare a balanced 2009 General Fund budget that will be proposed to City Council at the end of August, reviewed during September and early October, and adopted by City Council by the end of October.

If you would like additional information about this Setting the Priorities for Government forum, please contact Dale Rademacher via e-mail at dale.rademacher@ci.longmont.co.us, by phone 303.651.8355 ,or Karen Roney via e-mail at karen.roney@ci.longmont.co.us, by phone 303.651.8633.