At a special meeting on Dec. 6, the county commissioners adopted the 2019 budget in the amount of $36,617,003.
This amount includes $12,388,739 for the General Fund; $6,682,922 for the Road and Bridge Fund; $6,803,157 for the Capital Improvement Fund; $1,697,874 for the Capital Projects Fund; $4,581,083 for the Human Services Fund; $1,088,273 for the Health Department Fund; $1,074,257 for the Enterprise Fund; $969,432 for the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Fund; and $469,914 for the Conservation Trust Fund.
Funds requiring lesser appropriations are: E911 Fund, $259,432; Fairgounds Fund, $118,466; Fair Board Fund, $104,585; Open Space Fund, $121,169; Lodging Tax Fund, $104,100; Contingency Fund, $48,618; Economic Development Fund, $38,100; Self Insurance Fund, $35,000; Energy Development Fund, $19,858; and Employee Benefit Trust Fund, $12,024.
Property tax revenue for 2019 is based on the 2018 valuation for assessment in Delta County, and is certified by the Delta County assessor as being $292,906,960 total. Using the mill levy of 17.787 mills upon each dollar of total valuation within the county, property taxes will generate $5,226,046 in Delta County.
County administrator Robbie LeValley said, "The 2019 budget is focused on managing increasing needs, preserving services for citizens, and providing a fiscally responsible county budget."
Four additional positions have been approved in the 2019 budget -- two new positions in the sheriff's office, one additional attorney in the county attorney's office, and one additional Road and Bridge District 1 employee.
Financial assistance in the 2019 county budget includes $15,000 funding for Delta County Economic Development (DCED). Funds are also budgeted for All Points Transit, spay and neuter program, outdoor recreation, Center for Mental Health, Community Options and other community programs.
Delta County's proportionate share of the Seventh Judicial District's district attorney's operating expenses is $686,863. The veterans office is funded at $29,345, and $20,000 is budgeted for anticipated match requests.
A 3 percent cost of living increase was approved for all non-elected employees of the county. The 2019 budget provides for a few merit increases for non-elected employees.
The salaries and increases in salary for elected officials -- commissioners, clerk and recorder, treasurer, assessor, sheriff, surveyor and coroner - are set by the State of Colorado.
An elected official's salary is set at the time the official is first elected, or reelected. The state can set a cost of living increase for a given year, but it will apply only to those officials who were elected or reelected that year.
LeValley said, "Thanks to responsible fiscal management and thoughtful stewardship of taxpayer dollars, Delta County continues to have a healthy fund balance.
"Overall fund balances are budgeted at a minimum of 29 percent of appropriations, which is in line with policy and recommended practice by Colorado Department of Local Affairs."
Delta County is experiencing growing demand for public safety in all areas, including the sheriff's department, district attorney's office and criminal justice services.
Delta County is seeing significant growth in court activity, which will result in an unfunded state mandate to increase the number of courtrooms and supporting infrastructure in the existing courthouse.
This move will require finding alternate space for the administrative offices which will have to be moved out of their current courthouse office space.
The county commissioners have been holding planning meetings in preparation for the expansion of the county courthouse campus. Commissioner Don Suppes is actively researching possibilities for that expansion.
This will be an ongoing project in 2019, and its implementation will draw heavily on the county's fund balance.