COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The 2016 budget for Colorado Springs is complete and Mayor John Suthers hopes it will help deal with some of the city’s biggest issues.
He proposed a budget of almost $270 million. That’s a 3.6 percent increase over last year.
He said it’s a budget that will help create a clear plan for the future of the Springs and fix problems we already have.
Some of the highlights of the budget include more than $800,000 in spending for police body cameras, as well as a business personal property tax credit program to attract economic growth.
Suthers said the most important parts of the budget are things to help tackle infrastructure problems.
The stormwater budget is $19 million.
“To begin to very much so improve our stormwater infrastructure,” said Suthers.
One thing not changing in the budget is the $18.5 million spent on fixing roads.
“That’s about the level we’ve been spending over the last several years. The problem is, that only gets us less than two percent of our roads resurfaced,” said Suthers.
That’s why he is asking voters in November to approve a .62 percent sales tax increase.
It would raise $250 million over five years just for roads.
“We can’t come close to committing the amount of money we need to to roads out of existing budgets and that’s why the decision was made to go to the voters on roads and try to deal with stormwater in the budget,” said Suthers.
“I think they should fix it in the budget and not really ask for more taxes on something like that,” Colorado Springs resident Marcia Nugent said. “Even though we do need our streets worked on and everything, I always thought that would be taken care of in the budget.”
Suthers anticipated a positive response from city council about the budget.
“There’s been a lot of dialogue back and forth and nothing in this budget should be a surprise to the council,” said Suthers.
“I think it’s just a so-so budget, but I don’t know where else it would come from to fix what we need fixed,” said Nugent.
Another highlight is an increase in funding for Mountain Metro Transit, and a new Sand Creek police substation.
The budget will be presented to city council on October 19 and 20, with a public input meeting the night of the 20th.