For Grand County citizens, it’s budget crunch time | SkyHiNews.com

For Grand County citizens, it’s budget crunch time

What a difference a year makes.

Just ask any elected official who spent the past month buried in budget paperwork.

The economy has slowed and will most likely continue to slow through 2009. County and town governments are planning for a tight year.

Cuts are being made across all departments.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve published draft budget stories from every town.

For the average readers, the columns of numbers and lists of expenses is almost impossible to read without your forehead melting into your eyes from boredom.

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We understand.

Unfortunately, what might seem like the more boring pile of text in our newspaper is actually a record of some of the most important decisions made by government all year.

The additions and subtractions they approve this month and next will steer their ability to provide services and solve problems as they arise until next fall when the budget process begins again.

Sadly, budget meetings don’t exactly pack the house the way they should.

It was an unusual night recently in Granby when the Town Board saw a standing room only crowd as residents showed up to protest possible cuts in downtown enhancement funding.

If only all budget meetings brought that level of interest from the public.

So far, Kremmling is the only government to approve its final budget for 2009. In the rest of the county, budgets are still in the draft/discussion phase.

The next year is going to be tight across the county for all forms of government. Officials are being forced to set priorities, but they will never know if their priorities reflect their constituents if taxpayers stay out of the process.

Now is the time to request draft budgets from your local government. Soon, they will be finalized and passed and the chance for input will be over.

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