Larimer County adopts 2019 budget

As the population grows, so does the demand for services and the need for facilities to accommodate expanded programs.

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Thomas Clayton

The Board of Larimer County Commissioners formally approved the 2019 Adopted Budget. The budget will total $495 million which is a $3.5 million increase over the proposed budget. Larimer County’s net operating budget [excluding capital projects, disaster recovery costs, and non-operational transfers] will be $261 million.

The Board also certified property tax mill levies for the county, cities, schools, special districts, Foothills Gateway, and abatements and refunds. The certification is the basis for the tax revenue collected by the Larimer County Treasurer. There is no change in Larimer County’s operating mill levy, which has been 21.571 mills since 1992. An additional 0.75 mills are collected and transmitted by the county to Foothills Gateway which provides services to the developmentally disabled.

The Board also approved the 2019 Parks and Open Spaces fee schedule and the 2019 Weed District fee schedule increase. For the first time, Larimer Parks and Open Spaces is offering a discounted pass for Larimer County Veterans.

The 2019 budget also provides funding associated with the voter-approved sales tax initiative for behavioral health services. This includes $1.6 million in operating costs and $2.8 million to begin design and construction of a treatment facility.

The 2018 budget was expected to be the last annual budget with substantial flood recovery costs, but due to delays in project approvals by the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], costs will be incurred 2019.

One of Larimer County’s most pressing needs is timely expansion and replacement of facilities that serve our community. As the population grows, so does the demand for services and the need for facilities to accommodate expanded programs. The 2018 Facilities Master Plan documents $582 million in county facilities needs in the next 20 years. Some of this work will occur in 2019 including work on our fleet facilities, finishing the Coroner’s office and morgue, an expansion of the Loveland Police and Courts building, and addressing overcrowding at the jail. In total, $31 million is budgeted for these projects in 2019.

Larimer County government includes multiple divisions and departments under the ten elected county officials established by the Colorado constitution. The majority of county services are provided without regard to municipal boundaries: city residents receive the same level of service as those living in unincorporated areas. Larimer County’s net operating budget is organized into five service categories that describe the types of services delivered. Some service categories include contributions from multiple elected offices. The service categories are:

• Public Safety

• Human and Economic Health

• Community Planning, Infrastructure, and Resources

• Public Records and Information

• Support Services

The 2019 Adopted Budget will be available online in January at