Nov 16, 2010 10:16 PM by Jeannette Hynes
In December, Colorado Springs city councilmembers have a chance to put some happiness back into the Christmas stockings of city residents. Last Christmas, their job was to take stuff out of the stockings.
The 2011 city budget has an unexpected increase of $10.3 million (mostly from increased sales tax revenue this year), so councilmembers are looking to bring back services they had to cut for 2010.
Here are some of the services they plan to restore, if the budget is approved:
1. Streetlights: Of the 10,176 streetlights turned off in 2010, the city plans to turn on around 5,800 lights in residential neighborhoods. The city says anyone who adopted a light for 2011 will get their money back from the city. Also, it'll take a few months to turn on those lights.
2. Community centers: The budget includes $75,000 for each of the four City community centers.
3. Medians & neighborhood parks: Funding includes watering, mowing, and weeding, along with bringing back trash cans and bathrooms to neighborhood parks.
4. Bus service on Saturdays: Funding of $1,000,000 for limited Saturday services.
5. Springs in Bloom program: Bring back the volunteer median flower-planting program.
Vice Mayor Larry Small says it was much more enjoyable to add services than cut them.
"Hopefully, the economy is going to continue to improve a little bit each year and gradually we'll get things back to normal," says Small.