Weld County Commissioners Approve 2020 Budget, “County in Excellent Financial Condition”

WELD COUNTY, CO — The Weld County Board of Commissioners approved the 2020 budget for gross amount of $356,574,757. The board also extended the 20+ year practice of charging below the TABOR limit (which is 22.038 mills) for property taxes by agreeing to keep the mill levy at 15.038 mills.  The county is in excellent financial condition with no debt, no sales tax, one of the lowest mill levies among all Colorado counties, a significant cash reserve, and a fully funded pension plan. The major factors impacting the 2020 budget continue to be dominated by oil and gas development in Weld County, population growth, state and federal budget issues, and service restructuring in Weld County government.

As has been the case for the last few years, growth and development activity directly, or indirectly, related to oil and gas exploration seems to be the main economic driver in the majority of positive economic activities in Weld County.  The local and regional economy remain one of the strongest in the state. Unemployment rate for Weld County has stayed below or near 3.0% for the last year.

Highlights from the 2020 budget include:

  •  Assessed value increased 34.21%, or $3.948 billion primarily due to oil and gas.
  • Add 76.0 FTE in county departments to cope with growth and workload demands.
  • The new Department of Oil and Gas Energy will be staffed with 15 FTE to regulate oil and gas operations under SB 19-181 with full cost recovery through permit fees.
  • The creation of two new District Court judges required increasing the staff of the District Attorney by 5 FTE, and the Sheriff by 6 FTE for a total cost of $1,138,331.
  • With the passage of HB 19-1278 there will be a Presidential Primary, and new election mandates increasing the costs of elections by nearly $1.5 million in 2020.
  • Sheriff’s Office will transition the management of criminal records and evidence from the Greeley Police Department contract to bringing the two functions in-house by January 1, 2021.
  • The 2020-2024 Capital Improvements Plan for facilities is funded at $76,225,000.
  • Fund the oil and gas revenue fluctuation reserve in the Contingency Fund at $60.0 million.
  • Capital investment in the county’s information technology infrastructure for data center storage and fiber redundancy total $2,250,000.
  • Complete construction of the $45 million jail expansion.
  • With the sale of the NCMC hospital property an endowment of $59.4 million has been created to fund Bright Future student grants from the earnings of the endowment.

Submitted to The BARN by:

Jennifer Finch

Weld County Communications Director

1150 O St. / PO Box 758 / Greeley, CO 80632-0758

D: 970-336-7203 / C: 970-302-1936 / F: 970-336-7233

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.