City Cuts Costs, Stretches Dollars

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Last Monday, July 6, a report was given at the Mountlake Terrace City Council meeting that detailed the City’s financial health during the first 3 months of 2009. In 2008 the City began putting in to place some measures to cut costs and reduce expenditures. General fund revenues come from property taxes, sales taxes, gambling taxes, utility taxes, rereation fees, charges fro services and other fees. The budgeted income for the general fund is down 3.5% but the City’s efforts to cut spending has reduced expenditures down 4.5% so the city has been able to operate without dipping in to reserves. The City’s goal was to cut back spending but still ensure that basic municipal services to citizens were not reduced. Some things had to be cut such as the 4th of July fireworks show and hopefully it will return in the future.

One bit of good news that I’m keenly aware of as a civil engineer is that bidding climate for construction projects is extremely competitive right now since most private development has dried up. This has resulted in bids for construction projects coming in sometimes as low as 30-40% below estimates. With the planned construction projects costing much less, many cities are able to expand projects or add new projects that may not have originally fit in to the budget.

I guess one good thing about not relying on a ton of retail taxes is that Moutlake Terrace isn’t in the position that Lynnwood is with an $8.75 million budget shortfall.

[image courtesy pfala]

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