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Duvall deals with budget
DUVALL The City of Duvall is anticipating a tight but
manageable budget next year despite the loss of $183,000 in revenue from the
passage of Initiative 695.
The year 2000 was supposed to be the year that staff members would
finally be able to buy much-needed equipment, said Interim Finance
Director John Ringler. With the loss of revenue from the Motor Vehicle
Excise Tax and sales tax equalization, however, city staff will need to wait
at least another year.
Another way the city plans to curtail spending while keeping all of
its employees is to hold back on pay raises in 2000.
"We're still in negotiations with the public works and police
unions," Ringler said. "They're not happy,
but they understand why."
Next year's $11-million budget is approximately 16 percent higher
than in 1999 due to increases in utility rates, and those additional funds are
already earmarked for construction and improvements to the water and sewer
facilities. About $200,000 will be used to repair existing water mains
around the city, a project that city officials agree should have been done before.
"The repairs should happen every year but they didn't have money in
the past," Ringler said.
The sewer plant is also in need of major construction and
rehabilitation. The council recently renewed the
six-month construction moratorium so that new development wouldn't
overload the current system. Once the facility begins operating at more than
85 percent of the capacity, the state would be authorized to take control of
the sewer system, a move that the city is trying to avoid.
"Ecology was complimentary of us making our moratorium instead
of waiting for the state to manage us," said Councilmember Pat Fullmer.
City staff and consultants are currently reviewing the proposed
sewer facility expansion and have about $400,000, plus $200,000 for land
purchases, allocated for repairs.
Although it's likely that residents won't see a lot of additional city
services in the coming year, many of the current amenities won't be cut.
"We've been able to maintain the present level of workforce and
services," Ringler said. "But as the
city expands, it'll take more money."