How did Brighton end up with $70 million in unused water money?

BRIGHTON, Colo. -- Residents have been complaining about crazy water bills in Brighton for years, and now they’re beginning to understand why. It started when a new city manager, Philip Rodriguez, starting creating his first budget for the city.

“I know what I’m about to say, honestly, I could foresee myself losing my job over, but I’m going to say it anyway: we have had challenges in at least six city funds between the years of 2016 and 2017,” Rodriguez said in a council meeting July 2.

Tuesday night, City Council voted 5-3 to suspend Rodriguez and will vote next Tuesday to have him fired.

Now, there is an effort to recall the Mayor Kenneth Kreutzer.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers got a hold of the numbers, illustrating a pattern of the Utilities Department going back to City Council after their budget was approved and asking for more money halfway through the year, only to spend a fraction of that amount.

In 2015, the adopted utilities budget was $26,198,500. Later that year, the department asked for more, making the amended budget $32,434,741. The department ended up spending less than 10% of the budgeted amount: only $3,139,526.

Here’s a breakdown of the last six years:

The project completion rate was another red flag for Rodriguez. Utilities only completed 10% to 40% of projects from 2013 to 2018.

City Council voted unanimously to authorize a forensic audit of how the budgeting process was so inaccurate.

VIEW: Rodriguez's PowerPoint about a forensic audit discussion from July 2

AlertMe
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.