Aurora is 16 percent smaller than Colorado Springs, but its budget is 35 percent higher.

That’s the discovery from a Colorado Open Record Act request with the City of Aurora, filed by Citizens for Responsible Aurora Government.

Some of the data received is already raising eyebrows among the Denver suburb’s residents and points to the Springs’ lean budget.

Aurora’s population was about 330,000 during 2009 with an annual budget of about $350 million. Colorado Springs’ population was 380,000 – 16 percent more people, but its $228 million budget was 35 percent less than its neighbor to the north.

Specific revelations were:

– The city’s highest-paid employees earn more than $200,000 per year in salary and benefits.

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– Ninety-four city employees earn a salary of $100,000 or more per year.

– Average annual salaries for all City of Aurora employees, which includes all full and part time employees, approached $60,000.

Citizens for Responsible Aurora Government has posted the employee pay data in a searchable database on the CRAG Web site at www.concernedaurora.com.

During October 2009, similar information was published in Colorado Springs by the Gazette, listing the average salary for 2,370 city employees as $61,394, plus benefits.