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Budget Process

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OVERVIEW

The operating budget is the City of Longmont's comprehensive financial and operational plan. Because of the amount of information that it contains, it can be an imposing document. The reader should keep in mind that the primary intent of this document is to answer two basic questions: "Where is the City's money coming from?" and "How is the City's money being spent?"

There are many ways to present the information that answers those two questions (as well as many others). This budget focuses on the City's fund structure. All of the information presented is organized by the fund that is responsible for providing a service or activity. For example, money that the City collects from its customers for their electric usage is spent to provide electric service through the Electric Fund.

The Operating Budget is divided into sections by fund and contains information on each of the City's funds, including fund structure, financial condition, the services that are provided by that fund, the department and division(s) that deliver those services, performance measures, and three years of expenditures by line item.

The Capital Improvement Program details the City's capital infrastructure needs for the five-year period. A capital project is defined as a new, replacement of, or improvements to infrastructure (buildings, roads, parks, water and sewer lines, etc.) that has a minimum life expectancy of five years and a minimum cost of $10,000. Staff complete four detailed worksheets on each submitted project. Project information includes project description, location map, benefits of the project, cost, source(s) of funding, current and future operating budget impacts, project timeline, impact on other agencies, and evaluation based on the prioritization criteria. All projects are prioritized by fund. Then, based on each fund's five-year financial forecast, projects are scheduled during the five-year period.

There are numerous financial and programmatic policies that provide the framework within which the Budget and Capital Improvement Program are developed each year, including the City's:

  • Financial policies
  • Financial Assessment Report, which provides detailed five-year revenue projections and trends and expenditure data for the City's major funds
  • Capital Assets Maintenance Plan, which includes condition ratings of the City's infrastructure and 20-year replacement or upgrading schedules
  • Longmont Area Comprehensive Plan, which is the City's long-range planning document
  • Quality-of-life benchmarks
  • Long-range plans and rate studies for the services that the City provides

The underlying theme in all these plans and documents is the City's mission statement, which is "To enhance the quality of life for those who live in, work in or visit our community."

If you have questions or comments, please contact Teresa Molloy, Budget Manager, at (303) 651-8970 or by email at teresa.molloy@ci.longmont.co.us.

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