Forming a library district would free up at least $9.7 million/year in the city budget. The library district would be responsible to implement the community’s vision for our library, so funding for increased staffing, future capital projects and maintenance of facilities (including the facilities backlog) would no longer be a city responsibility.
These revenues would be freed up to go to other programs and services, or be refunded to taxpayers. Savings over ten years would add up to over $100 million dollars.
Most library districts continue to rely on their city government to provide administrative overhead services. “Contracting back” with the library district for these services would turn this paper revenue stream into a real revenue stream of up to $3.4M/year.
The chart below compares cost savings realized by the city if a library district is formed, compared against city "unfunded needs" projected from 2025 forward.
Read on for details about how forming a library district can help relieve pressure on the Boulder city budget.Read more
Boulder's City government implements over 300 "community" and "governance" programs spread across 21 departments. Community programs provide direct service to residents and businesses, while governance programs provide support services to other city departments.
More than 50% of the operating budget goes to 5 departments: police, open space and mountain parks, parks & recreation, utilities and city governance/administration (city council, attorney’s office, clerk, communications, city manager, finance, HR, IT).
Note that “governance” includes city debt payments and operating reserves. The city has been building towards a 20% operating reserve for the last ten years.
Why should Boulder’s budget be a campaign issue?
We’re Boulder. We want to do it all - and it ALL adds up to a lot of $$$.
Over the years, our community has developed many wonderful programs and services that we depend on our city government to deliver. In addition to basic services, the “quality of life” programs we have created are what make Boulder desirable. We are also a community with a collective conscience: we want to be pro-active in solving “wicked problems” locally and globally.