Summit County commissioners approve $126 million budget for 2019
Summit’s Board of County Commissioners approved the 2019 county budget on Tuesday. The $126 million budget will pay for county services, major infrastructure projects and capital improvements in 2019. That includes improvements to the Summit County Resource Allocation Park, the Snake River Water Treatment Plant, county roads, the Summit Stage bus system and Summit County Commons in Frisco.
Big ticket enterprise items include the solid waste fund, which will receive a little over $6 million with $4 million buying a new solid waste disposal cell at the SCRAP. The Snake River treatment plant will receive $1.25 million to replace headworks inlet screens, where wastewater initially enters the plant for processing.
The county’s ambulance service will receive $603,000 for two new four-wheel drive ambulances, completion of a new joint administration building and for a revamped automatic external defibrillator program.
The county is also budgeting for several road projects, spending $2.7 million on road construction and maintenance. That includes completion of the Summit Cove Loop project that will create bike/pedestrian lanes along Summit Drive and Cove Boulevard, among other improvements. Improvements are also budgeted for Boreas Pass Road, Swan Mountain Road and Fairview Boulevard.
The county will also spend $2.2 million on recpath projects, including segments along Highway 91 and Swan Mountain Road, with improvements at both ends of Swan Mountain Road being constructed in concert with construction at the new Breckenridge water treatment plant and the Summit Cove Loop project.
The county’s public transit system will also be budgeted for an overhaul. Summit Stage plans to acquire five new buses and one paratransit vehicle. Grant funding is projected to cover 80 percent of the cost, bringing Summit County’s total price tag for the replacements down to $200,000. The county notes that the new buses will be smaller than buses they are replacing to cut down on fuel and acquisition costs.
The county will spend $4 million for the renovation of the Frisco Transportation Center, with $2.5 million in state funds to offset the costs. Improvements will be focused on parking and driver accessibility at the transportation center, as well as drainage and other infrastructure improvements.
In alignment with the County Commons Master Plan, $3 million will be devoted to revamping the county commons area, particularly with its road alignment. The winding hill section of Peak One Drive, between the Summit County Commons building and Summit Medical Center at the top of the hill, will be made to accommodate improvements at the north part of the campus, as well as for safety purposes as it can be quite tricky for buses and ambulances to navigate.
A new sand and salt storage building used by the county and CDOT will be constructed on the east side of campus, replacing the old storage building on the west side, which is in poor shape. The replacement will also alleviate loud noise and traffic on the west side, which is near a residential neighborhood.
The sheriff’s office will receive $560,000 in capital funding for safety improvements at the jail, a drone for use in wildfires and emergency searches, SWAT body armor, security upgrades, an inmate tracking system and an update to the Summit County Justice Center Master Plan.
The $41 million general fund has increased from last year due to personnel costs, expanded hours for jail medical providers, prisoner meals and mental health expenses, among other needs. The passage of Ballot Initiative 1A — which devotes funding to early childhood education, mental health and suicide prevention, recycling, wildfire mitigation and county infrastructure — will provide $8.8 million of the general fund. To avoid confusion with prior 1A measures, the county will now refer to the 2018 1A funding program as “Strong Future.”
“We are very excited to have the ability to fund these important community initiatives,” said county manager Scott Vargo. “We are working very hard to roll out funding and programming from the program soon into the new year.”
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