What: Boulder City Council
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Boulder Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway
More info: The complete agenda is available at http://bit.ly/16SCcix.
Boulder can use reserves to pay for repairs to flood damage to infrastructure and doesn't need to substantially change the proposed 2014 budget, city Finance Director Bob Eichem said.
The Boulder City Council plans to hold a public hearing and vote on the proposed budget on Tuesday. The meeting will open with another update on the flood's aftermath.
Sept. 10, the night before heaviest rains began to pummel the region, the City Council held a study session on the budget, and City Manager Jane Brautigam cited the possibility of a devastating flood as one reason to maintain a 15 percent operating reserve indefinitely.
As recently as last year, the city only maintained a 10 percent operating reserve, and in the 1990s, Eichem said, it was as low as 3.5 percent.
Eichem said the city is in a strong financial position to address the flood damage because it has followed best practices.
"Right now, there is no indication that we need to go in and start tearing up the 2014 budget," Eichem said, noting that the City Council can later amend the budget if necessary. "If we had still been at (3.5 percent), we would be having a totally different discussion."
Preliminary estimates put the damage to city infrastructure at $49 million. The city also incurred additional expense to pay for the emergency response during the storms and now to pay for debris removal and other measures that benefit homeowners and the community at large.
Some of those costs will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but Eichem said the city has enough money to bridge the gap between incurring the expense and reimbursement, which won't cover all the costs.
The general fund has about $15 million in reserves, and open space has another $15 million in reserves.
The water and wastewater utilities each carry 25 percent operating reserves and a $2 million reserve just for capital expenses.
Going forward, Eichem said the city can draw on computer replacement and building maintenance reserves for additional flood-related expenses without affecting city programs.
The $269.5 million 2014 budget includes funding for additional police and firefighters, as well as a north Boulder library station.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.