Grand County plans to pay off Judicial Building in 2009 |

Grand County plans to pay off Judicial Building in 2009

Tonya Bina
Grand County, Colorado

In the 2009 county budget, Grand County commissioners have forged a way to pay off a $10 million debt acquired from building the new Grand County Judicial Building in 2008.

Commissioners made final determinations about the 2009 draft budget on Tuesday.

In it, the judicial debt-service payoff, which otherwise would mean $1 million annual payments for 10 years, is worked into budget expenditures.

Facing uncertain economic times, commissioners indicated they didn’t want to saddle the county with that debt.

Grand County is entering 2009 with a projected $28 million fund balance, which commissioners say was more than anticipated from budgeting conservatively in 2008.

Property tax revenue came in 7 percent up; sales tax revenues are flat.

The 2009 budget overall reflects a “prudent” approach, said County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran.

Commissioners are forgoing base salary raises to employees, rather opting for a one-time, 5 percent cost-of-living bonus at the beginning of 2009.

Also budgeted in 2009 is a salary survey to compare Grand County with comparable governments to see if the county remains competitive.

Any supplemental spending in 2009 “will not be looked at favorably,” Chairman Gary Bumgarner said prior to commissioners determining the final draft budget.

Despite seeing an 8 percent health insurance cost increase in 2009, employees will not experience a loss in benefits, commissioners said. The county afforded the increase primarily because it remains self-insured, Underbrink Curran said.

Major items added to the 2009 budget are capital projects such as paying for the $600,000 West Grand EMS building remodel and the $2 million administration-building remodel, both already under way.

Also, $1.7 million is set aside for a future transfer station that would replace the existing Grand County Landfill. That amount is strictly an estimate, Underbrink Curran said.

The county budgeted $600,000 for property it may acquire to locate a county gravel pit, predicted to garner the county long-range cost savings, according to officials.

Other capital improvements in 2009 remain questionable, yet are listed, such as refinishing the basement storage area in the new judicial building and repairing the roof on the Natural Resources building in Granby. Budgeted for those projects are $75,000 and $60,000, respectively.

The second phase of Granby airport improvements, namely paving, is listed in the budget. The execution of the project depends on the county receiving federal aviation funds. The county would share 5 percent of the $4 million project cost with the state.

The remainder would be federal responsibility.

This year, most departments’ outside requests were vetoed at the commissioners’ table.

Scheduled to be adopted by resolution in December, the draft budget reflects $55,753,180 in expenditures with $36,171,019 in 2009 revenues. Again, Grand County is entering the budget with a projected $27,872,724 carry-over into 2009.

Grand County’s projected ending fund balance for 2009 is $8,290,563.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail

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