Larimer County adopts 2015 budget

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners adopted the 2015 budget on Dec. 18.

The total budget will be $390,299,431, more than $26.5 million higher than the Oct. 15 proposed budget due to sales taxes OK’d by voters in November and departmental revisions.

The county’s total operating budget for 2015 will be $258,948,977, up $114,150 from the proposed budget due to grants and operating costs, including more than $33.6 million in disaster costs.

The commissioners also certified the overall proposed county mill levy — used assess county property taxes — unchanged at 22.459 million.

The commissioners amended the county’s 2014 budget to reflect a more than $10.9 million increase, which came from changes in the budgets across county services.

The 2015 Larimer County budget expands community needs based on recommendations from County Manager Linda Hoffmann. They include support for specialty courts such as the Wellness Court; support for partnerships in economic development; the 2015 biennial citizen survey; support for a marijuana prevention program for youth; funding toward a Killpecker radio tower for better law enforcement communications in the mountains; and the 2015 Annual Community Report.

The commissioners commended Budget Director Bob Keister who is stepping down in early 2015. He has been with Larimer County since 1975 and budget director since 1979. The commissioners lauded him for his communication skills, high level of expertise and visionary thinking.

Larimer County government includes multiple divisions and departments under the 10 elected county officials established by the Colorado constitution. Most county services — 99 percent — are provided to all 316,000 residents of Larimer County regardless whether they live inside or outside a city/town limit. The budget is organized into five service categories that describe the types of services delivered. They are:

· Public Safety Services
· Human and Economic Services
· Community Resources, Infrastructure, and Planning Services
· Public Records and Information Services
· Strategic Leadership and Administrative Services

The adopted Budget in detail will be available on the County’s Virtual Courthouse web site at www.larimer.org/budget in mid January.

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