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Major projects and purchases planned to address workforce housing needs, County roads and transit
Contacts:Karn Stiegelmeier, Chair, Board of County Commissioners: 970-471-2298Scott Vargo, County Manager: 970-453-3404Marty Ferris, Finance Director: 970-453-3434SUMMIT COUNTY – The Summit Board of County Commissioners adopted the 2018 County budget on Tuesday, approving a $29.9 million General Fund budget, along with major capital improvements for several County roads, the Summit County Commons campus and the Summit Stage public transit system. The budget also includes funding for several workforce housing projects.
“We’re in solid financial shape,” Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “Our property tax revenues are healthy, but because of TABOR and Gallagher restrictions, they’ve only now returned to pre-recession revenue levels, even though activity in Summit County and demand for County services has been higher than ever for several years. Voters’ support for programs like open space protection, workforce housing and emergency services has been essential to our ability to address community needs and priorities.”
Total Summit County property tax revenues, which contribute to multiple County funds, are projected to total $27.9 million in 2018, about 6.4 percent higher than they were in 2017. Sales tax revenues are projected to increase by about 2 percent. Property taxes make up one-third of General Fund revenues, and sales taxes contribute about 16 percent.
On the workforce housing front, Summit County has allocated funding for preliminary work at the 45-acre Lake Hill site near Frisco, including a traffic study, impact analysis, financing analysis and geotechnical work. The commissioners also budgeted for new workforce housing construction in Keystone’s Wintergreen neighborhood and site analysis for a County-owned parcel in Dillon Valley.
The County will continue its efforts to secure parcels for future workforce housing projects that the community will need in order to meet projected demands. The Board of County Commissioners also approved funding for a new land-use planner position in the Summit County Housing Department to facilitate the growing number of workforce housing projects the County is undertaking.
Among Summit County’s 2018 capital projects is the next phase of the Summit Cove Loop Project, which includes numerous roadway improvements throughout the Summit Cove neighborhood and the installation of bicycle-pedestrian lanes along Summit Drive and Cove Boulevard. The 2018 phase of the project will include the widening of the Soda Creek causeway – the most technically challenging element of the project. The causeway widening will allow for the installation of bicycle-pedestrian lanes on that section of Cove Boulevard.
Additional roadway improvements are budgeted for Boreas Pass Road, Swan Mountain Road, Heeney Road and Little Beaver Trail. Altogether, Summit County plans to spend about $2.9 million on road construction projects in 2018. The commissioners also approved funding in support of a highway engineering study that will explore solutions for pedestrian travel across Highway 6 in the vicinity of Rasor Drive in Keystone and identify opportunities to reduce traffic congestion in the Keystone area.
The Summit Stage public transit system plans to acquire six new buses, which will serve as much-needed replacements for the oldest buses in the agency’s aging fleet. Grant funding will cover 80 percent of the cost of five of the new buses, bringing Summit County’s total price tag for the replacements down to $900,000.
Summit County is planning $1 million in improvements to the County Commons campus in Frisco in 2018, per recommendations in the County Commons Master Plan, published in January 2016. The County will realign Peak One Drive between the Summit County Commons building and Summit Medical Center to improve safety and to accommodate needed expansions to the industrial portion of the campus. The road currently contains a steep S-curve that is not ideal for ambulances or buses.
The County is also planning to design and construct a new building on the campus for storage of sand and salt, shared by CDOT and the Summit County Road & Bridge Department. The existing building is in poor condition, with material pushing through the western exterior wall, and it lacks the capacity to accommodate today’s needs. The building, which houses noisy, round-the-clock operations that require intensive outdoor lighting, is located on the west side of the campus, close to residential neighborhoods. The new building will be located on the east side of the campus.
The Summit County Detention Center will receive a $200,000 increase in funding for medical and behavioral health services, in response to increased need for and complexity of services required by inmates. The Summit County Clerk & Recorder’s Office will receive an $82,000 boost to cover the costs of the 2018 General Election and the new requirements to provide Primary Election ballots to all registered voters, regardless of party affiliation.
The Summit County Ambulance Service budget includes $2.3 million in capital outlay, including scheduled replacement of two ambulances and construction of administrative offices that the EMS service will share with Lake Dillon Fire Rescue in Frisco. The joint project will enhance collaboration and resource-sharing between the two agencies and obviate the need for both agencies to take on independent construction projects.
For more information about the 2018 Summit County budget, contact Finance Director Marty Ferris at 970-453-3434, or visit www.SummitCountyCO.gov/budget.