(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Mayor John Suthers presented the proposed 2023 budget to Colorado Springs City Council. According to Mayor Suthers, the 2023 general fund budget was $420 million, a $23.3 million or 5.9% increase from the 2022 budget. Suthers said that the increase is due to a projected increase in sales tax revenue of 13%.

Mayor Suthers shared the highlights for the proposed 2023 budget:

  • $926,000 of increased funding for 15 new sworn Police positions that will be added towards the end of 2023, as well as vehicles for positions added during 2022.
  • $1.63 million of increased funding for 32 new sworn Fire positions for 2 new fire stations scheduled to become operational in early 2024 (Fire Station 24 in the Northeast part of the city and the inclusion of the existing fire station in Colorado Centre as Fire Station 25 in the Southeast part of the city) and related one-time and ongoing operating costs.
  • Continued funding of $928,000 for the 11 new positions that were added as part of the Keep It Clean COS campaign that was initiated last spring.  In 2022, the City expended one-time funding of $2 million for new equipment to combat litter and clean up streets and medians and will continue funding the positions on an on-going basis to help keep our city beautiful.
  • $3.1 million for increased staffing across several city departments to address expanding demand for services, including additional staff for Parks, Recreation, and Cultural services to provide 2 positions for Garden of the Gods park and 4 Rangers for urban park and trail safety, and for Public Works to provide 12 positions to address State mandated utility locates and address increased service demands related to city growth.
  • $1.57 million continued funding for the City’s Americans with Disabilities Act operating and capital programs, including a new Language Access Coordinator.
  • $500,000 of continued funding to support shelter bed operations for the homeless population.
  • $1.2 million additional funding to Mountain Metro Transit for increased contract and other operating costs to sustain transit services.
  • $11.3 million for market salary increases for all civilian and sworn (Police and Fire) employees, step increases for sworn, pay progression for civilian employees, and pay for performance for civilian employees.
  • $3.6 million for full-year funding for the portion of compensation and added positions that were phased in during 2022, the conversion of certain hourly positions to regular positions, and for increased medical plan costs.
  • $10.1 million to fund increased rates for insurance premiums, fuel, and utility services, as well as contractual increases, including animal law enforcement services and election costs.

Colorado Springs has grown to the 39th largest in America, with a population of 500,000. Mayor Suthers said that the Gross Domestic Product for Colorado Springs has increased from $30 to $40 billion annually over the past eight years.