News

Council examines 2010 budget

The preliminary 2010 Sequim city budget includes no new positions. Several, such as city engineer, may remain vacant.

The city council got its first look at the figures at its Nov. 2 meeting and held a public hearing on it Nov. 9.

It will meet again Thursday, Nov. 12, to study the figures and be prepared to adopt it at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, in the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

State law requires the city's budget to be balanced. City staff presents a preliminary budget, and if councilors don't like how they have balanced revenues and expenses, they can change it.

The budget maintains reasonable contingencies of $350,000 and a $1.1 million fund balance, City Manager Steve Burkett wrote in his budget message.



Boys & Girls Club

Estimated revenue for 2010 is less than in the 2009 budget but similar to the 2009 forecast, which had reduced revenue from sales taxes and building-related permits and fees, he wrote.

It does not include a proposed $50,000 contribution to United Way or the $60,000 sought by the Boys and Girls Club, both of which councilors must approve or cut by Nov. 23.

Club volunteer Stephen Rosales urged councilors to consider partnering with the club, namely by using its teenage members to perform some jobs.

The budget includes, however, $741,000 in water replacement projects, $330,000 of which will replace a water main in the Bell Street alley.

Sewer replacement projects total $710,000, incuding $130,000 for a new camera to inspect inside sewer pipes.

Water reuse plant expansion expenses are pegged at $1.2 million.



Bigger by $670K



The city's $8.44 million general fund, up from $7.77 million in 2009, includes almost everything associated with city government (except utilities), including the city manager and council, city attorney, police, planning and public works, building inspections and parks.

The remainder of the $22 million 2010 preliminary budget includes special revenue funds such as streets, hotel/motel tax and criminal justice, capital funds, water and sewer and trust funds.

The budget does not include the community service expenses such as United Way-administered grant funding or community service contracts that the council will decide later.

The city will have the equivalent of 80.26 full-time employees in 2010, unchanged from full-time positions in 2009.



Two fewer jobs

One police officer position and one street maintenance position will remain unfilled until Burkett can assess the city's operations.

The police department's administrative assistant position will remain half-time, and the school resource officer was transferred back to patrol.

A forensic investigator will join the department, but the position is paid by a grant.

The city engineer position formerly held by Bill Bullock will not be filled in 2010.

But the city manager and public works director positions are filled for 2010. Both positions were filled by interim employees for most of 2009.



Reach Brian Gawley at bgawley@sequimgazette.com. Reach Jim Casey at jcasey@sequimgazette.com.

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