Manitou Springs passed its budget on first reading Tuesday night.
The 2012 all funds budget sits at $15.7 million, the general fund at $5 million, and the city has a reserve of more than $300,000. The reserve has grown significantly in recent years, to the delight of City Council members who say the abysmal savings in past years put the city at risk.
“We’ve never had numbers like that before,” Mayor Marc Snyder said of the reserve. “I can remember years when we went in with a $60,000 reserve.”
After debate, Councilors also opted to give employees a 3 percent cost of living raise and to keep their insurance premiums at the current rate. The increase costs about $98,000.
Councilors had previously considered increasing only salaries that were considered underpaid based on a recent salary survey. Snyder, however, said that plan was unpopular with employees.
“How do you address one particular department or a couple positions without leaving everyone else miffed that they didn’t get an increase?" he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Aimee Cox, however, says she was hoping to use the salary survey to bring wages more in line with the rest of the state, and was disappointed that wasn't happening.