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Last updated 5:44PM ET
December 16, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Government Reorganization Proposed in Durango
(2008-09-22)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: Durango City Government is about to undergo a reorganization, to better address priorities established by city councilors.
Some of the changes could hit users of some services in the pocketbook.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Durango city manager Ron LeBlance says his 2009 budget going to city council this week will focus on two themes.
LEBLANC: ONE IS MAINTAINING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE AND TWO IS RETENTION OF OUR EMPLOYEES. THERE IS MORE MONEY BEING PROPOSED FOR STREET MAINTENANCE, AND WE WON'T BE DOING CERTAIN ACTIVITIES WHERE WE THINK THEY ARE LESS IMPORTANT.
As proposed, the city general fund, which pays for basic operation and services including police and administration, totals just under 32-million dollars.
That's a 3.4-percent increase over last year.
LEBLANC: AND THAT REFLECTS A SLOWDOWN IN THE LOCAL ECONOMY. WE'RE PROJECTING A 3-PERCENT INCREASE IN SALES TAX FOR 2009. IN THE PAST THE CITY HAS BENEFITTED FROM YEARS OF SEVEN AND EIGHT PERCENT INCREASES SO THIS IS REFLECTIVE OF A SLOWING ECONOMY.
Which LeBlanc says means to accomplish those goals with declining revenue's the city will have to be more efficient with what it has to spend.
So he's making some major changes in the structure of government effective next year, including:
Hiking trolley fees to 1-dollar, the same as city bus fees, while reducing the number and types of bus passes.
Possibly hiking parking meter fees, but making parking free on Saturdays.
Raising city garbage pickup fees by about 2-dollars per month per household to fund a new department of Sustainability and its programs.
Placing Parks, Open Space and Trails land acquisition directly under the city manager's control.
Hiking sewer fees by 5 per cent.
Moving management of City Span 10 from the manager's office to the Library Director.
LEBLANC: THE MAIN DRIVER FOR THESE CHANGES IS TO MAKE THIS ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON THE CITY COUNCIL GOALS. AS A NEW CITY MANAGER, ONE OF THE THINGS YOU LISTEN FOR WHEN YOU ASK QUESTIONS IS,
'WE'VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY, WE'VE NEVER DONE IT THAT WAY' SO WHEN I HEAR THAT IT'S SORT OF A CHALLENGE FOR ME TO PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER IN A LITTLE DIFFERENT WAY. WE'RE NOT ASKING FOR ADDITIONAL PEOPLE OR NEW PEOPLE WE'RE JUST USING EXISTING RESOURCES AND EXPENDITURES TO FOCUS ON SOME OTHER PRIORITIES.
There will be several council study sessions on the budget between now and November 5th, when the public gets to weigh in at a public hearing.
From KSUT, Four Corners Public Radio, I'm Victor Locke.
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