JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — With more than a half million people, Jefferson County is the fourth most populous county in Colorado. Between 2020 and 2021, it has faced budget shortfalls of more than $28 million.
“You have to have a balanced budget,” county manager Don Davis said. “There’s no printing of money.”
Davis is charged with solving the complicated task of balancing the budget. That task seems like an impossible hurdle to overcome following voter-rejected TABOR relief.
“You’re really talking about the full breath of the county being on the chopping block,” Davis told FOX31.
This year’s budget cuts of $16.1 million hit the sheriff’s office the hardest. The cuts slashed $3.2 million from that agency and forced some inmates to be let go early. 2021 is will also face cuts estimated at $12.5 million.
Every county office has been asked to make hard choices while officials consider consolidating DMV locations. The county is now offering DMV kiosks at grocery stores. Other savings could come from four-day workweeks for administrative staffers. Telecommuting could eventually allow the county to consolidate even more building space, according to Davis.
JeffCo currently operates more than 50 buildings countywide.
Meanwhile, Davis says there are more than $100 million worth of backlogged transportation projects.
Davis is scheduled to present his recommendation on cost-saving measures for the fairgrounds to commissioners on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 8 a.m. The gathering will happen at Jefferson County Courthouse hearing room #1. The presentation is open to the public.