Castle Rock's proposed budget to be presented

A new LED sign installed outside of town hall will communicate event and emergency messaging with town residents.
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A proposed budget that staff will present to the Castle Rock City Council Oct. 22 includes $166.53 million in revenues and $225.16 million in expenditures, with the difference taken care by using some of town's accumulated cash reserves, according to a news release.

The proposed budget calls for no tax increases, which means the owner of a $300,000 house still would pay only $40 for town services.

The use of cash reserves is mostly for major infrastructure projects, such as the North Meadows Extension, a new road that will connect State Highway 85 to Interstate 25 in the area of Castlegate Drive to provide a second access from The Meadows subdivision and alleviate traffic congestion on Meadows Parkway.

Other major projects in the budget include $2 million for a new water tank in northeast Castle Rock and $4.98 million for implementation of a WISE (Water Infrastructure and Supply Efficiency) water-importation agreement. WISE, which the town joined earlier this year, is a partnership of 10 water providers from Douglas and Arapahoe counties that are members of the South Metro Water Supply Authority. The WISE partnership has negotiated a long-term purchase agreement to buy renewable water from the cities of Denver and Aurora.

Also in the proposed budget is funding for three additional police officer positions, for which applicants have already been picked, hired and brought in this month. Town council recently approved hiring them now, instead of waiting for 2014, as applicant-testing expenses and other costs already had been incurred and there was concern about losing the top applicants to other departments if they weren't hired soon.

The budget also includes an administrative support position in the police department, a fire safety inspector, and begins saving for a future fire station.

The proposed budget also includes a $4.7 million economic development fund for projects intended to create jobs and sustain sales tax growth, according to the news release.

“The town's overall financial condition is good,” according to a budget-message statement from Mark Stevens, town manager, prepared for the Oct. 22 budget presentation. “Through effective town council leadership and direction and strong financial management and planning by the organization, the town has weathered the recession, maintained high-quality core services and is positioned to accomplish council's core priorities and strategic plan.”

After the Oct. 22 presentation, there will be a formal first reading on Nov. 5 and a second and final reading on Dec. 3. Public input will be heard at all three presentations. Council meetings begin at 6 p.m. at town hall, 100 N. Wilcox St.

For more details, including a four-page budget-in-brief document, go to CRgov.com/2014budget.

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