Oct 17, 2012 9:00 PM by Matt Stafford

Colorado Springs Utilities budget disagreement

Colorado Springs Utilities is working out the details on their 2013 budget at City Hall on Wednesday, but not without disagreements.

Mayor Steve Bach spoke with News 5 earlier that morning; he says the proposed utilities budget is flawed.

"Number one is that it has no definition on HR, human resources or personnel," explains Mayor Bach. "I can't tell you, for example, how many people are in the communications department function in utilities, and what they do, and what the cost is, and I therefore cannot render judgment on whether not that's appropriate or understaffed or overstaffed."

Mayor Bach also said that after hearing about the proposed budget on Monday, the two days given before the public comment period was "grossly inadequate." He says the process should take longer and be more transparent, like the city's budget process that's being worked on right now.

In fairness to Colorado Springs Utilities, they say this budget process has been in the works since December. Nothing was voted on Wednesday; it was just a formal presentation and a chance for public comment.

The mayor's not on the Utilities Board -- only the nine members of City Council are -- so Mayor Bach doesn't have a vote.

News 5 caught up with Chairman Scott Hente for reaction to the Mayor calling their budget flawed.

"There are some pretty significant accounting differences between how a municipal government operates and how a public utility operates, and so to say that we're not following an example of a municipal government would be absolutely correct; we're not, we're following the example of a public utility," Chairman Hente says he "emphatically disagrees" with the Mayor's description.

Voting on the 2013 utilities budget isn't expected until next month.

To view the 2013 proposed budget for Colorado Springs Utilities, click here.


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