2021 Budget Update from the Town Manager
On December 14, 2020 the Town Council was presented, and unanimously approved, the fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget for the Town. The budget presented is a balanced budget and includes a number of projects and initiatives that will benefit the community. A couple of key pillars considered in the development of the annual budget are: the focus of enhancing the community and bringing additional value to the residents and businesses. Some of the specific improvements that you will see in the FY 2021 budget that directly benefit the community include the following:
In 2020, the community approved a ballot measure for an additional 1/2% sales tax on all tangible goods. The revenue generated for this was identified and earmarked exclusively for purposes of transportation enhancements. Accordingly, the Town has budgeted over $700,000 which will go towards asphalt overlay projects, curb and gutter improvements, ADA accessible ramp improvements on our sidewalks, and additional maintenance of dirt roads in our community. We will also utilize these funds for the purposes of purchasing a new 3-ton plow truck which will help with snow events as well as with general maintenance and operational initiatives throughout the summer.
Two major capital projects that have been included in the budget are the design and engineering of Charlotte Avenue as well as street and stormwater improvements in the area of Estes Avenue. For the Charlotte Avenue project we plan to engage with residents along this corridor to understand desired improvements, and, ultimately eliminate the exaggerated crown on the road. This project will also include water and sewer line replacement. Construction is expected in 2022 after the design is completed this year. With regards to the Estes Avenue area, the expected construction of street and stormwater improvements will help to mitigate drainage and localized flooding issues in this general area.
In 2021, construction on I-25 will also continue. CDOT is on schedule for I-25 Express Lanes project to be completed in October 2023. One major component to the I-25 corridor improvement is the addition of a divergent diamond interchange that will replace the existing interchange at Highway 60 and I-25. While the Town has provided funding for the I-25 corridor, which contributed to improvements at Highway 402 and I-25, the Town has also engaged with CDOT for an aesthetic improvement at the interchange (pictured on next page). This interchange will serve as a key Johnstown gateway to the community and will enable the Town to realize new economic development projects in this area.
Water and Sewer Infrastructure - Construction will begin this year on the new 1.5 million gallon water tower and 16” waterline on the South side of Town allowing for more effective water distribution, increase fire flow pressure, provide better water quality, and increased water capacity, especially during the summertime. Another critical project will be the installation of a granular active carbon feeder to address water taste and odor issues. During the summer time, water increases in temperature, which combined with the lack of movement and aeration of water, causes the introduction of geosimin and MIB. While these do not impact the safety of the water, they are major components to taste and odor issues in the water. Staff is working with a water engineering firm to analyze water nutrients and plan for an installation of a carbon activated feeder system, the typical method used to address taste and odor issues. It is our intent to have this carbon activated feeder installed sometime in late spring, and based on the taste and odor issues, introduce the carbon on various levels to combat taste and odor issues in the system.
Finally, the Town has budgeted funds for additional trail development in the community. Better connectivity through alternative methods of transportation in the form of trails is part of key feedback we have received from you and what you want. As we look at this trail linkage, we will also be installing new trees in various parks including Clearview and others in the community that are operated and maintained by the Town. New trees will also be installed in areas of downtown that were lost due to the early frost we experienced in 2019. While we were hopeful they would have come back this year, they didn’t and we want to ensure the beautification of our downtown.
While this is just a small segment of some of the improvements and changes you can expect in 2021, we want to continue hearing from you. We want your thoughts, ideas, and feedback. They are always valued, considered, and when possible, incorporated into future fiscal year budgets - please let us know as we continue to build an amazing community!