Published 5:28 pm Sunday, April 26, 2009

By Staff
Proposed city budget calling for cuts on pool, library hours
Contributing Editor
City Manager James C. Smith’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year calls for no layoffs of city employees, but it does call for reducing hours at some city facilities.
The presentation of the city manager’s proposed budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year is on the agenda for the Washington City Council’s meeting Monday. The council has the final say on the budget, related fees and tax rates.
Smith’s proposed spending plan requires no increase in the property-tax rate, which is at 60 cents per $100 valuation, and no layoffs of city employees. It does not call for increases in water, sewer, stormwater, solid-waste and trash-collection fees.
Smith’s proposed $11.3 million general-fund budget does call for reduction in some services, mainly accomplished by shortening hours at facilities such as Brown Library and the Hildred T. Moore Aquatics &Fitness Center. The proposed general-fund budget, which covers day-to-day operations of city government, is $2.3 million less than the current general-fund budget, or a 16.9 percent reduction.
Jennings said the upcoming budget will reflect the recession and its effects.
He’s confident the budget the council approves later this year will not raise property taxes and most fees.
Because of declines in project revenues this fiscal year and expected declines in those revenues in the next fiscal year, the city had no choice but to reduce hours at some city facilities, Smith said.
“In developing the proposed FY 2009-2010 budget, we were particularly concerned that the revenue declines facing us are likely to continue into Fiscal Year 2010-2011. Therefore, it was important to look forward meaningfully over the next twenty four months,” Smith wrote. “We did this by developing a draft FY 2010-2011 budget at the same time we were developing the FY 2009-2010 proposal. The draft 2010-2011 General Fund budget net of capital items projects a further 2% reduction in expenditures below the FY 2009-2010 budget for a net operating budget reduction of 10.8% for the next two years.”
Other items on the council’s agenda include, but are not limited to, the following:
The council meets at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building at 102 E. Second St.
Cutline for corresponding photo: A swimmer heads into his turn Friday afternoon at the Hildred T. Moore Aquatic &Fitness Center in Washington. (WDN Photo/Paul Dunn)