Due to prudent planning and budgeting, the Town of Parker has weathered the economic downturn better than many other communities. The Town achieved balanced budgets during this time; however, it came at the cost of delaying capital projects, infrastructure maintenance, equipment purchases and other essential long-term projects and resources.
The ongoing decrease in overall Town revenues, along with the increasing cost of running our organization, has made it difficult to maintain a long-term balanced budget. Combined with the significant slowdown in growth and development in Parker, it has become necessary to reduce the Town’s budget.
As a result, 16 positions have been permanently eliminated from the Town budget, six of which were currently vacant. This reduction, which was effective Friday, March 11, will save approximately $447,000 in the Town’s 2011 budget and $835,000 annually beginning in 2012. The Town’s soft hiring freeze, which accounts for nearly $870,000 each year, will also remain in effect until the economy has fully recovered.
Moving forward, Council and staff will be working together to update our comprehensive 10-year financial plan. The goal of this plan is to develop budget priorities and goals to guide Town revenues and expenditures, while building funding back into future budgets for necessary capital projects, infrastructure maintenance, equipment purchases and other essential projects and resources.
The Town continues to be innovative and look for new and creative ways of doing business. An existing example of this is the Town of Parker’s unique collaborative relationship with the City of Lone Tree. Through intergovernmental agreements (IGAs), Parker provides building inspection, electrical plan review and electrical field inspection services for Lone Tree, as well as operating joint Police Dispatch and Victim Services programs. In late 2010, Parker also began providing evidence storage, crime scene processing and crime scene analysis services for Lone Tree. By partnering on service delivery programs such as these, both entities maximize tax payer dollars and staff time, while enhancing the quality of service delivery.
As we move forward, Parker will continue to seek out partnerships such as these to make our organization even more efficient and effective.