Flood recovery efforts boost Larimer County budget

The Larimer County Commissioners adopted their 2014 budget, amended the 2013 budget and certified mill levies. The total county operating budget for 2014 adopted Dec. 19 is $299.2 million, up $11 million from the draft budget proposed in October. The total county budget, including non-governmental accounts is $317.7 million. The largest adjustment, accounting for the $11 million change, is due to increased overall expenses for 2013 flood recovery.

The commissioners also approved the amended 2013 budget totaling $368.9 million. Compared to the original 2013 budget adopted in December 2012, this represents a $45.3 million increase due mainly to:

• Revisions due to the September flood (Budget Office, County Manager, Engineering, Solid Waste, Fleet Services and Road & Bridge)
• Revisions in the sheriff budget due to flood response, a significant computer software upgrade and numerous grant revisions
• Revisions to capital replacement funding.

Both revenues and expenses were increased in 2013 by unexpected events such as the flood.

The commissioners also certified mill levies, which is the tax rate on property which provides funds for public services. The county’s operating mill levy of 21.571 has not changed since 1992 and provides funding for county services such as public safety, roads and bridges, health and more in 2014. In addition to the county’s operating mill levy there are mill levies for cities, towns, school districts, special districts and other voter-approved entities such as Foothills Gateway.

The 2014 budget was prepared using the concepts of budgeting for outcomes. In this system, county services are evaluated based on priorities set by the Board of County Commissioners. The 2014 Larimer County budget is available online at www.larimer.org/budget.

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