AURORA | For a second year in a row, a messy winter has prompted the City of Aurora to request more money than expected for snow removal.
Aurora City Council heard from city staff during the Monday, April 4, study session that about $2 million has been requested to cover the budget-expanding snow removal expenditures. Snow removal costs were significantly higher due to more snow removal occurring on holidays and during the weekend than in previous years.
The supplemental budget request presented by city officials also included $4.9 million to improve medians in the city.
Another high-dollar item on the 2015 spring supplemental budget was a set of expensive workers compensation claims, totaling $1.1 million. City officials said those claims involved a police officer falling off a ladder and an officer-involved shooting incident.
Police are also requesting $1.2 million for a transfer to the Capital Projects Fund for security improvements at police stations in Districts 1 and 2.
The city has already added new lighting in the secure parking lot at District No. 1, an effort city officials said in a memo dramatically improved the light levels there. Plus, the facility just east of the Anschutz Medical Campus received a new secure fence in 2015.
Police Chief Nick Metz said when he took his job last year he noticed that the parking lot behind District No. 2 — which is the department’s headquarters and includes most of their civilian personnel, as well as commissioned officers — was too dark when employees walked to their cars at night.
Aurora City Council members approved the budget moving forward to an upcoming regular city council session, where it still will require final approval.
Later in the evening at a regular city council session, Aurora City Council members unanimously approved an ordinance clarifying outdoor marijuana grows and grows in attached garages to be illegal.
According to city documents, the ordinance specifies that that “outdoors” means “any location that is not entirely contained with a structure that is completely enclosed by walls and a roof.”