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Beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, the Salida City Council will meet in a work session. The agenda includes an update on the Salida tree canopy and continued 2023 budget discussions. The complete agenda and packet are here.

Salida City Parks Tree Inventory

Nuno Park trees at 200-298 West Park Ave. in Salida. Note lack of tree diversity with the majority of trees being Green Ash or
Siberian Elm. All trees are similar in age as well. This is an ideal park to remove any sick or unhealthy trees and begin adding young, diverse species. Photo courtesy Colorado State Forest Service.

First on the agenda is a presentation of the Salida 2021 City Parks Tree Inventory as compiled by the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) in a draft released in May of this year.

A summary report will be submitted to the City of Salida, including the following:

  • A summary of data collected including tables and graphs
  • USDA USFS iTree Eco report
  • Map of tree locations
  • Photo gallery of sample conditions of trees inventoried
  • Immediate and/or suggested management needs

An old, girding root that is impacting the
infrastructure of  the Rotary Stage in Riverside Park. Photo courtesy Colorado State Forest Service

The management plan suggests actions needed for each city park on both a 1-year and 5-year plan. In addition, a budget is provided showing the number of trees, their needed remediation and costs (which may be spread over multiple years).

CSFS Report Conclusion

“Overall, Salida’s community forest is healthy, thriving, and full of potential. The next steps are to bring the current tree population under regular maintenance, ease the over-mature tree population out, continue to plant for future residents, and educate the residents of the benefits of their trees.”

The needs cited are reminiscent of what the city experienced some years ago with their roads and sidewalks. A forward-looking plan of regular budgeting and maintenance, tied to recommended tracking software can provide immediate hazard reduction, prolong the life of the remaining tree inventory and plant new trees best suited for our changing climate.

The complete Tree Inventory report is on pages 2-53 of the work session packet.

Council looks at 2023 Budget Proposal

Finance Director Aimee Tihonovich will present the proposed 2023 Salida City Budget to the council for their feedback. The annual process began after taking into account the priorities set in the May 17 Salida City Planning Retreat. Then, department heads were asked to enter their budget requests online, using the OpenGov Budgeting tool.

After the requests were reviewed by the Finance staff, the numbers were again examined by the City Treasurer, City Administrator and Finance Director, in one-on-one meetings with each department. After adjusting for updates and feedback from these meetings, the proposal was presented to the Finance Committee on Aug. 30 which then recommended that the proposal be brought to the full council.

After this work session, staff plan to bring the budget to the council for public hearing and formal adoption, ideally at the council meeting on Oct. 18. The budget plan looks at past history, progress in the current year, and projections for 2023.

A hard copy of the proposed budget is available weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Finance Department in the Touber Building, 448 East First Street, Suite 112 in Salida. The material is also available 24/7 online here.

Residents are reminded that budgets are “living documents”, looking forward some 15-18 months. Given a highly volatile economy and even considering conservative revenue forecasting, amendments may become necessary as priorities and actual data change.

Readers may register for the City Council Work Session here. After registering, a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar will be sent to you.