Reader's Guide


You are looking at the published City of Salida budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2022 and ending December 31, 2022. This document has been specially prepared to help you learn about the City's financial management, administration, and operations.

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This Reader's Guide provides some foundational information for readers unfamiliar with municipal budget documents.

Budget documents provide a large amount of information about topics and functions that may not be well-known to all readers. This section is intended to ensure that every interested party has the opportunity to read and understand the City's budget.

What is the purpose of the city budgeting process?

Budgeting is the process by which the City of Salida decides how to use its financial resources to fund services and projects that benefit city residents.

The City of Salida has a very broad range of responsibilities. It has to be accountable to its residents, the State, and the Federal government. Unlike private business, the City is not able to drop services simply because they are unprofitable.

This budget document summarizes the City's financial policy and plans for the fiscal year. The operating budget represents the annual plan for the allocation of City resources for the period beginning January 1, 2022 and ending December 31, 2022 (Fiscal Year 2022).

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What is the budget development process?

The budget process follows the calendar year. The fiscal year begins January 1st and ends December 31th. Salida's budget process can be broken down into two distinct phases: Strategic Planning and Budgeting.

Strategic Planning is the first phase of the budget process. During this phase, the Council meets to set the strategic goals for the upcoming year. During the Strategic Planning retreat, the City reviews financial information from the previous year's Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR), as well as the progress made towards achieving the goals outlined within the City's strategic plan. This is a time for review, reflection, and planning.


In preparation for kicking off the development of the annual budget, the Finance Department develops revenue projections for each regularly occurring revenue streams and builds base budget levels for each revenue line item in the budget. Then, base budget levels are also developed for each expense line item at a level sufficient for maintaining the existing level of operations within each department.

If revenue continues to support basic operations, the base level budgets are released to Department Directors who are responsible for proposing any adjustments to the base numbers and for requesting new programs, capital expenditures and adding any new revenue streams such as anticipated grant awards. Any request for new funding needs to align with Council’s strategic plan.

In years where anticipated revenue does not support operations, a zero budget process will be implemented as necessary to rebuild the budget from scratch, reducing programs as necessary to an affordable level.

After all requests are submitted, the Treasurer, City Administrator and Finance Director review new requests and prioritize against available resources to develop recommended budget levels that are presented to the Finance Committee and finally the Mayor and City Council.

City Council reviews the budget requests in a series of public-facing work sessions. The recommended budget is typically made available to the general public by the end of August and never later than the State statutory deadline of October 15. A public hearing is held on the budget prior to adoption by Council after appropriate notice is given.

The budget is typically adopted at the 2nd Council meeting in the month of October prior to November elections so that any newly elected Councilmember does not have to vote on a budget they did not work on (Councilmembers are sworn in around mid-November and the Colorado statutory deadline for adopting the budget is December 31).


The public has numerous opportunities to engage in the budget process. All budget discussions with City Council are held openly during posted meetings, the City broadcasts live all budget meetings and encourages questions from citizens and answers all questions fully and timely. Council listens to feedback and gives careful consideration to all requests.

A budget document is published on the website and budget information is available through the City’s financial reporting software program called OpenGov which puts financial data into a format that is more easily understood by laymen with the use of interactive charts and graphs. The budget is a featured story each budget season in Salida’s monthly newsletter, The Salida Standard. The newsletter is widely promoted and available on the City website as well as through a free email subscription.


The financial transactions of the City are reported in individual funds in the fund financial statements. Each fund is accounted for by providing a separate set of self-balancing accounts that comprises its assets, liabilities, reserves, fund equity, revenues and expenditures/expenses. A budget and appropriation is adopted for all funds.

The City of Salida maintains two Fund Types, which support different primary functions:

Governmental Funds are used to account for "traditional" governmental activities.

Enterprise Funds are based on the premise that some services should be conducted as businesses.

Fund Descriptions

General Fund is the City’s primary operating fund. It accounts for all financial resources of the City, except those required to be accounted for in another fund.

Streets Fund accounts for sales taxes to be used solely for the construction, operating, maintenance and repair of city streets and street related


Capital Improvement Fund accounts for sales taxes to be used to provide capital improvements, other than streets.

Economic Development Fund accounts for sales taxes to be used for economic development purposes.

Lodging Tax Fund accounts for revenues derived from lodging taxes to be used primarily for capital improvements and operations expenses for

parks and recreation and arts facilities.

Conservation Trust Fund accounts for lottery proceeds required to be expended solely on park and recreation improvements.

Housing Fund accounts for inclusionary housing fee in lieu revenues required to be expended on affordable housing projects.

Water Fund accounts for the delivery of water to the citizens of the City.

Wastewater Fund accounts for sewer service to the citizens of the City of Salida and the Town of Poncha Springs.

How is this budget document organized?

This budget document is divided into three main sections: The Introduction, Budget Details, and the Appendix.

Introduction: This section has several useful informational items that can be reviewed quickly, including the Elected & Appointed Officials, Budget Message, the City's Strategic Plan and Sales Tax Trend Analysis.

Budget Details: This is the main portion of the budget document. It is divided into two major sub-sections: Departmental Summaries and Fund Summaries.

Departmental Summaries: These contain detailed information about each department's purpose, accomplishments, goals, revenues, expenditures, and changes for the upcoming year. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate how each department is actively supporting the achievement of the City Council's strategic goals.

Fund Summaries: These contain detailed information about each fund's purpose, revenues, expenditures, and changes for the upcoming year. This section provides financial context about which services are provided from each fund.

Appendix: This section provides additional useful information for further reference, such as the City's organizational chart and a glossary of terms.

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We hope this information has been useful. Thank you for reading your City's budget!