Kremmling approves 5th police officer and other increases in 2019 budget

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With Kremmling’s 2018 sales tax currently at 10.84% over last year’s sale tax, trustees strategized their budget for 2019.

The 2019 budget saw a projected increase in spending.

According to Interim-Town Manager Rhonda Shearer, the police department budget increased by approximately$100,000 for a fifth officer and new equipment.

Trustee Dave Sammons gave a nod to the increase in expenditures noting, “Public safety and officer safety are our number one priorities.”

The Kremmling Police Department will be hiring a fifth officer. Money for the fifth officer’s salary will be supplemented by the West Grand School District and the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. Both agreed to give $10,000 for the cost of the additional officer, totaling $20,000. The new police officer will ensure other officers can use their vacation time and will also give the West Grand schools more coverage. The officer could possibly be used as a resource officer.

Each police officer will now have their own iPad in their car. According to Kremmling Chief of Police Jamie Lucas, the iPads will increase police visibility because officers will not have to return to the office to do their work. It will also allow the officers to communicate between all of the departments and dispatch.

During the budget hearing Chief Lucas emphasized the need for equipment to bring the department up to standards. Chief Lucas noted body cams were successfully implemented this year. “In order to move forward in a positive direction, each requested item is necessary … As we try to rebrand the police department, it is important we have a positive image and our own identity.”

Another area of the budget seeing an increase is mosquito control which was given an additional $10,000, from $40,000 to $50,000. Residents of Kremmling could see more use of larvicide and community partnerships with landowners surrounding Kremmling. The Board is still researching options.

There was an increased focus on safety and security. Budget items were created for security cameras at the hockey rink and office security.
Street repair was also a consideration with $30,000 being set aside for street repair on either South 5th Street or Kinsey Avenue.

Attention will also be given to South 2nd Street between the Hotel Eastin and the Bank of the West. The current plan is to widen the street by removing the dirt patch between the curb and the sidewalk.

The Design Committee was allotted $8,000 for the Town Square. The Town Board indicated the money should be used for updates to the pavilion; however, the Design Committee asked for money for a master plan for the Town Square. The Design Committee is expected to clarify their vision with the Town trustees.

The Chamber of Commerce received an additional $3,000 bringing their total to $43,000.

Salary increases were also expected with a 3.2% cost of living adjustment.

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