2023 Budget Highlights

The new and improved budgeting process better aligns our investments with our community goals, reflected in our Sustainability, Equity, and Resilience Framework. Below is the 2023 Budget represented by goal area and highlights of significant investments in several key areas.

Picture of NCAR burn area

Wildfire Resilience & Emergency Response - $2,072,811

The urgency of wildfire resilience and preparedness efforts reflect the nature of the climate emergency. There are several investments advanced within the 2023 Approved Budget, including the addition of three firefighters and staffing and resources in Open Space & Mountain Parks to increase wildland-urban interface management and open space land management efforts.

The investments included in the Approved 2023 Budget reflect a phased approach and respect the regional effort in meeting the need of the moment. Acknowledging the urgency, staff has also proposed a new Climate Tax to help accelerate efforts within this critical area, which voters will consider November 2022. The new tax would replace the existing Climate Action Plan and Utility Occupation Tax, generating approximately $1.5 million for wildfire resilience work ($6.5 million overall for climate action investments).

Alternative/Behavioral Health Response - $965,000

Modeled after successful programs in other cities, the 2023 Approved Budget includes funding for a pilot alternative response program for non-law enforcement response to behavioral health-related calls and other circumstances better suited for medical and/or clinician response.

The alternative response program is designed for non-emergency and low-level services or transport. The suggested model builds upon the current crisis intervention and response team which involves a mental health professional co-responding with law enforcement.

Case Management - $372,874

This proposal seeks to expand Municipal Court Case Management through the expansion and sustainable funding of the community court program. The 2023 Approved Budget provides funding for a community court coordinator, contracted support services, including transitional housing, and case management tracking software. The proposed new funding is a combination of one-time and ongoing dollars.

Homelessness Solutions - $750,000

This budget advances funding for a day services center for the unhoused. The funding reflects one-time funding to cover likely service needs in 2023; however, this is likely an ongoing service addition. Capital funding is also likely needed and the location and type of facility are currently under development through a facilitated community process. Facility funding is likely to be pursued in later 2022/early 2023 as plans coalesce.

Safe and Managed Spaces - $1,285,509

In April 2021, Council approved an 18-month pilot program to expand the city's approach to managing public spaces across the community. The 2023 Approved Budget proposes the extension of the pilot to continue to collect data and information on the effectiveness of the program.

The pilot has seen many successes over the past year including 389 encampments successfully cleaned, 106 tons of trash removed from public spaces and waterways, over 5,000 downtown graffiti and trash removal responses, and 174 connections between people experiencing homelessness and service providers.

The budget also proposes the expansion of two elements of the program: one to add an encampment management team to keep up with demand, and two, to bolster the urban parks ranger program.

Council appropriated approximately $1.7 million in 2022 to kick start projects such as the core arterial network (CAN) and the enterprise data platform to help develop the city's use of data in decision making.

The 2023 Approved Budget proposes a total of $27 million in 2023 for several key CCRS infrastructure projects, including:

- Fire Station #3 Construction final funding ($14.5M)

- Xcel Energy Streetlight Acquisition ($7.0M)

- Planning & Design for Pearl Street Mall Refresh and East Boulder Community Center Renovations ($2.0M)

- Continued Core Arterial Network Investments ($1.3M)

The 2023-2028 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) comprises approximately $160.8 million in new appropriation for 2023, with $ 746.7 million in planned spending between 2023-2028 to support over 200 capital projects.

Capital maintenance and enhancement projects typically comprise most investments within the CIP. The 2023-2028 CIP comprises 50% percent of capital maintenance projects and 35% percent of capital enhancement projects, once again demonstrating the city’s continued focus and investment into taking care of its existing physical assets in the community.

Several key 2023 capital projects within the 2023-2028 CIP include:

- Western City Campus Development at Alpine Balsam (~$74.0M)

- South Boulder Creek Flood Mitigation ($66.7M)

- Main Sewer Interceptor Project ($8.4M)

- Xcel Energy Streetlight Acquisition ($7.0M)

- 30th Street Multi-Modal Enhancements ($4.8M)