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

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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

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