Fraser begins 2019 budget talks, identifies potential investments | SkyHiNews.com

Fraser begins 2019 budget talks, identifies potential investments

Fraser is considering investing in a wide range of projects for the upcoming year, including expanding public arts programs, public works improvements and a potential housing program.

The Fraser Board of Trustees kicked off budget talks for 2019 at their Wednesday night meeting where a preliminary budget and several investment ideas were presented. As this was the first public hearing for the 2019 budget, no decisions have been made.

"The budget message (…) is a message to the community about what the board sees as important for the year, what kind of projects and programs they're hoping to accomplish, it's the board's direction to staff to go make those types of things happen," said Fraser town manager Jeff Durbin.

Many of the proposed investments are public works improvements, including improvements to the County Road 8 bridge and pavement, implementing crosswalk lighting improvements, irrigation repairs and pavement and concrete maintenance.

The town is also considering a new public works facility, since the department has outgrown their current space. The draft budget includes $75,000 to design the facility.

The draft budget also includes $500,000 for public housing, which could involve a deed restriction purchase program, similar to Vail's InDEED program.

A few of the proposed investments are related to Public Arts Committee projects, like expanding the revolving sculpture program or sponsoring a mural festival. The committee proposed a $75,000 total budget to continue existing programs and expand others.

"It's aggressive, but there are some really neat things in here," Durbin said.

Other, smaller suggested investments include air conditioning for the Town Hall, a conceptual design for a whisteless train crossing at Eisenhower Drive and funds for further implementation of the Fraser River Corridor Master Plan.

The Board of Trustees continued the discussion to the Nov. 28 meeting, where they will start to make decisions on what investments to include in the final budget. The final public hearing for the 2019 budget will be Dec. 5.

"I think it's important for the community to know the town of Fraser is in a good financial position," Durbin said. "We've been planning for these big projects and we're using savings for these projects."

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