Arvada’s economy is improving, according to an end-of-year financial report. The report, which details the city’s revenues and expenditures for …
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Arvada’s economy is improving, according to an end-of-year financial report.
The report, which details the city’s revenues and expenditures for 2011, showed that 2011 saw higher sales-tax revenues, more new building activity and more visitors to places such as golf courses.
“We ended the year far better than we thought we were going to,” said Victoria Runkle, the city’s finance director. “After July, the economy became more robust for us through building activity and sales tax.”
The good news follows several years of cautious saving and cutbacks in city spending. Anticipating lower-than-average revenues, the city saved $2 million in 2010 by not filling vacant positions and $900,000 by cutting costs across all city departments, according to the financial report.
Yet the city brought in more sales-tax revenue than in 2010: $128,169, or 3.4 percent additional revenue.
Runkle said general-use-tax revenue, including building and automobile taxes, also went up in 2011. A new 300-unit housing development on Kipling Street helped raise the amount collected, and residents are beginning to buy new cars again after the recession, she said.
The financial report also shows that residents are returning to some city attractions, including the Lake Arbor and West Woods golf courses. The city’s golf fund saw a small increase after the courses offered special deals to help bring in new golfers.
“We’re showing growth, albeit slow growth,” Runkle said.
The city’s savings strategy and better-than-expected revenues allowed staff to budget for several capital improvements, including $1.4 million for Gold Line commuter rail enhancements and $250,000 to build missing sidewalks.
The city also spent $200,000 on street maintenance after receiving several complaints from residents about potholes and crumbling sidewalks in the city.
Overall, the city spent $6.075 million between May and August 2011 for these and other one-time improvements. That money came from about $10 million in savings from cutting budgets and leaving vacant jobs open, according to the report.
The city’s full financial report is available online at www.arvada.org. Residents can also keep track of the city’s expenditures and revenues throughout the year by going to www.arvada.org/transparency.
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