AURORA | Aurora City Council members are kicking off budget season this week with a special study session presentation Tuesday of a proposed budget that calls for no substantial cuts, no tax hikes and service levels much like this year.

Highlights of the proposed budget include: 15 new police officers, 16 firefighters for a new fire station, a 6.5 percent increase in the general fund, and $1 million from oil and gas property taxes for affordable housing

Council members will hear from the citizens’ advisory budget committee, housing and community development committee and water advisory committee before getting to the city manager’s budget presentation. 

The budget is subject to change, and likely will as council members will meet for a Saturday session later this month to hash out details. 

Aurora’s city charter requires the budget is balanced each year  — and that’s looking like the case for this year, deputy city manager Jason Batchelor, who served as interim city manager from November through August, told the Sentinel in a meeting earlier this month.

Looking ahead to next year, city staff say the 2020 budget is “mostly balanced.” 

“The 2020 projection is basically balanced,” Batchelor said in a memo to council members. “Assuming projections hold, 2021 through 2023 will require active balancing.”

The special study session will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday in the Aurora Room, on the first floor of the Aurora Municipal Center.

— KARA MASON, Staff Writer