If you have ever wanted to have a say in how your tax dollars are spent, this is your chance! As the City of Fort Collins embarks on its 2017-2018 Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process, we’re asking residents to consider, within each of the City's seven strategic Outcomes, what enhancements, or budget requests, should the City fund?
The City bases its budget on the 2016 Strategic Plan.
A Balancing Act, is a participatory budget tool that lets you create and submit a complete budget based on what matters to you. When you enter the tool there will be prompts to help you use it and the FAQs below will cover additional information such as the meaning of terms and details about the dollar amounts. Help us prioritize what matters most to you!
View this step-by-step video to get help in using the participatory budget tool.
An Offer is any request for funds. Hundreds of Offers are submitted and cover everything from vehicle maintenance, to snow plowing, to internal software systems. Each Offer must display which Strategic Plan Outcome it supports and how in order to be sure it aligns with the goals of the community.
Ongoing Offers are budget items that have previously been approved and are currently in place. Enhancement Offers can be brand new ideas, programs, projects, or expansions of existing programs. Both types of Offers are reviewed equally.
They are reviewed through a process we call Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO). Each Outcome is assigned a team that includes City employees and community volunteers. The teams spend several weeks reviewing the Offers. They make recommendations, research ways to scale them if needed, and explore potential improvements. They then put together a report, or budget recommendation, that is presented to City Council.
The amounts that you can change in the Outcome areas reflect ONLY the amounts for the 2017 Ongoing Offers with $100 attached to Enhancements as a standard amount. You start your budget with enough money to cover all Ongoing Offers with an additional $10 million. This way you can increase and decrease Ongoing amounts as you see fit and still tell us what additions and/or expansions matter most (Enhancements).
Your input will be presented in two reports. We will run a report in early July and present it to the Budget Lead Team. Another report will be run in late August. Both reports will be presented to City Council.
It is up to you how deep you dive into the Offers. You can review the Offers by "Themes" which are under the first dropdown menu within each Outcome or you can use the Information icon and click on More Details to read the title of every Offer. The actual Offers are available below in the Budget Request Details.
That’s correct, utilize your Bookmark tool in the upper right of the PDF, or left if you use a Mac, to navigate to specific Offers within each Outcome (the numbers assigned to each will help you with this). View the video above to see a step-by-step tutorial.
There are several ways to advocate for specific Offers throughout the process. Please review the important date section below to see times when you or your organization can speak before Council. We also recommend communicating with the Boards and Commissions that align with your goals. Follow this link for a complete list of Boards and Commissions, their meeting calendars and Council Liaison contact information. Many Boards and Commissions will send customized memos to Council highlighting which Offers are most important to them and why. You can also email your Council member at any time.
Complete information on all budget requests are available in the separate files (below), one per each Outcome (Revised June 23, 2016).