The preliminary 2013-2014 City of Woodinville budget is scheduled to be presented at the regular Woodinville City Council meeting Tuesday evening at Woodinville City Hall.
According to a report by Woodinville City Manager Richard Leahy, after five years of poor or declining economic conditions, the city expects to see a small but noticeable improvement over the next two years.
"Fortified by the tough budgetary decisions we’ve made over the past couple of years ago to put our financial house in order, we’ve stayed ahead of deteriorating financial conditions and now have opportunity to take advantage of a small but meaningful improvement," he wrote in the report.
According to Leahy's report, this budget:
1. Includes no new taxes or tax increases;
2. Provides a projected $487,000 General Fund operating margin (operating revenues in excess of operating expenditures);
3. Adds one new Police Officer position;
4. Maintains existing staffing levels;
5. Includes funds to meet a state mandated major update of our Comprehensive Plan;
6. Includes funds to review, rewrite, and simplify our development codes;
7. Invests in technology to replace outdated equipment so we can advance with our customer base,improve productivity, and save money;
8. Constructs transportation improvements to reduce congestion and improve safety; and
9. Makes effective use of a portion of our General Fund Reserves to begin making capital investments to reduce future operating costs.
Over the past few budgets, we had to discontinue popular programs, layoff long-term employees, and delay some capital projects. This Budget begins to emerge from those tough times and begin addressing longer term needs, issues and priorities. Once some of the major capital projects proposed in this Budget are complete, we should explore ways to effectively use our excess reserves to fund high priorities, reduce future operating costs or liabilities, or to expand and diversify our tax base for the future. I need to emphasize that we need to continue to be cautious. Some of the economic signals are mixed and our local development projects may not progress as quickly as projected. We need to stay alert for signals of decline and be prepared to take immediate action should they re-emerge.
City residents can express their budget priorities:
The Woodinville City Council is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6 at Woodinville City Hall, 17301 - 133rd Avenue NE. See the full meeting agenda by clicking here.