New police officer, more economic dollars in store for Hayden in 2019
December 11, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Funding for a new police officer, economic development efforts and continued infrastructure improvements are priorities outlined in the 2019 budget that has been approved by the Hayden Town Council.
"I think the primary focus of our budget will help ensure the benefit of the community during financial times that are not as good — building a long-term plan for the town," Town Manager Mathew Mendisco said.
The addition of a new police officer is in response to an increase in calls for police services from Hayden residents.
"It's been consistent the past year and a half," Hayden Police Chief Greg Tuliszewski said.
He said calls for service have risen by 35 to 40 percent.
The new police officer will bring the number of the officers up to four.
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The town has budgeted $2.483 million in revenue for 2019, which is up from the $2.245 million budgeted in 2018.
With an expected increase in projected revenues, the town is planning to increase spending 5.2 percent to $2.503 million.
"We are staying within our adopted policy limits of revenues and expense," Mendisco said. "Commercial development is starting to grow with the addition of an Ace Hardware, aquaponics greenhouse, two new retail stores, wholesale marijuana cultivation facility and the new sheet metal manufacturing business."
In addition to the commercial growth, the town has issued 41 building permits this year.
"While staff is being conservative in our estimates of revenue and expense, the current economic trends indicate the town is moving in a positive direction," Mendisco wrote in his town manager’s report. "With good fiscal responsibility, management and continued hard work, the town will be able to take advantage of some economic positive years and plan for the downturn that will eventually happen. Our goal is to build a resilient community that weather the downturns and builds sustainability in the good years. The future in Hayden is bright with the art of possibility."
The 2019 budget is based on economic trends that staff has tracked over the past two years.
"It's financially sustainable for the years 2019-2021 and sets the table for a fiscally sustainable plan for the years beyond 2021," Mendisco wrote in his report to council.
The budget includes a merit raise of up to 3.5 percent for employees.
The town plans to apply for several grants to defray costs in 2019. It successfully did so already in 2018.
Mendisco said the town council has conveyed a strong message that Hayden is open for business with the hopes of attracting new businesses.
The town will be increasing its economic development investment dollars significantly — from $27,000 in 2018 to $62,800 in 2019.
That money will be used to help fund a loan program which will help businesses that want to improve the appearance of the front of their buildings.
"We're redefining downtown as you drive into downtown and then when you leave with messaging and marketing efforts," Mendisco said.
The town will also be spending $130,000 in 2019 to support a project to build a new playground and recreation equipment at Dry Creek Park. The town recently learned it received a $500,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation to help make the improvements.