City releases 2022 Recommended Budget, sets public hearing and online forum dates
- Amy Resseguie, Senior Communications Specialist, 970-416-2738, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lawrence Pollack, Budget Director, 970-416-2439, email@example.com
The City of Fort Collins published the 2022 City Manager’s Recommended Budget Sept. 1 and has scheduled several opportunities for community members to learn more and provide feedback to City Council.
The Recommended Budget was developed by City staff and provided to City Council, who will now spend the fall reviewing and modifying the budget prior to adoption in November. Community members can review the proposed budget and share feedback at ourcity.fcgov.com/2022budget.
The City will host three online budget forums in early September to review the 2022 Recommended Budget. Each session will focus on programs and services recommended for funding within two or three of the City’s seven outcome areas:
- Budget Forum #1: Sept. 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Outcome Areas: Neighborhood Livability & Social Health | Environmental Health
- Budget Forum #2: Sept. 8, 4-5 p.m.
- Outcome Areas: Safe Community | Transportation & Mobility
- Budget Forum #3 :Sept. 9, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Outcome Areas: Economic Health | Culture & Recreation | High Performing Government
The forums will be held on Zoom; to access the forums and participate, visit ourcity.fcgov.com/2022budget. Live Spanish-language interpretation will be provided.
Participants will have the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of City budget and finance staff, and to weigh in on which kinds of City programs and services are most important to fund in 2022. The feedback will be shared with City Council as they make revisions and finalize the 2022 Budget throughout the fall.
City Council will also hold two formal public hearings about the budget during their Council meetings on Sept. 21 and Oct. 5.
Revenue recovery over the past year has been stronger than originally anticipated and staff has forecasted modest revenue growth through 2022. This revenue recovery allowed the City to recommend restoring some of the service cuts that were made in 2020 and 2021, as well as make strategic investments to maintain existing assets, continue the City’s focus on equity, and make progress on other Council priorities. In addition, the 2022 Recommended Budget includes $4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds that will be used to support recovery-related services and expenses.
Key themes include:
- Making Strategic Investments to “Future Proof” the City – maintaining 24/7/365 service to the community, and funding offers that allow work to be done now to ensure that investments made in the future are strategic and advance critical goals across the organization.
- Asset Management – supporting critical core maintenance and associated staffing to help maintain the City’s assets and keep service levels where the community has come to expect.
- Difficult Trade-offs – prioritizing areas that could be impacted by new COVID-19 challenges in determining which services to scale back; delaying some maintenance to future budget cycles.
- Preserving a Meaningful and Market-Competitive Employee Experience – ensuring service delivery is maintained through hiring, retaining and developing staff; maintaining the City’s commitment as an employer of choice in a highly competitive talent market and recognizing the City’s leadership role as one of the community’s largest employers.
- Recovery-driven investments funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – using this federal funding to assist with the revitalization of City services for the community and to lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.
- Addressing Social Vulnerabilities of our Community – intentionally supporting programs, services and policies that address social vulnerabilities some members of the community may experience, and advancing the City’s commitment to equity for all, leading with race.
- Building Equity into the Process – intentionally incorporating community feedback related to the advancement of the City’s equity and inclusion work into the decision-making process; establishing a new Budget Equity Team to pilot the application of an equity lens to the budget.
Budgeting for Outcomes
The City’s budget is created using the Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO) process. For 16 years, BFO has helped the City identify and fund various programs and services to achieve different community outcomes. Each community outcome has specific objectives and performance measures that make up the City’s Strategic Plan, and every funded budget item has to impact at least one of those objectives. The Strategic Plan is also updated every two years through extensive community engagement to ensure funded programs and services reflect the desires of the community. City Council unanimously adopted the 2020 Strategic Plan last year. While the City typically creates a two-year budget, due to the economic uncertainty related to COVID-19, the City moved to a one-year budget for 2021 and is now creating another one-year budget for 2022 before moving back to the regular two-year cadence.