LFP City Council passes a lean 2011-12 City Budget

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heeding the public antipathy toward new taxes, the Mayor and City Council of Lake Forest Park passed a "very frugal", balanced budget, which leaders say will maintain the community priorities of public safety, maintaining infrastructure, managing development, parks, trails and programs as well as direct services to the human and community service agencies that serve the citizens of Lake Forest Park.

Ed Sterner, chair of the budget committee said, "This budget reflects the realities we face. As we look forward, the City Council and the Mayor are going to be faced with an ongoing budget challenge." 

Some of the cuts to the budget include:
  • All non-represented staff will forgo their cost of living increases for the second year in a row.
  • Staff will be required to take five furlough days in 2011 and 2012. 
  • Reduced permit and passport hours.
  • Not filling a vacant police officer position.
  • Eliminating the position for communication and intergovernmental support.
  • Eliminating the position of community services manager.
  • More electronic communication.
Citizens will feel the impact, said Mayor Hutchinson.
"Although staff is working hard to mitigate the impacts of the reduced municipal funding, citizens will experience the impact. Our parks will be less maintained, we are reducing our ability to secure and monitor grants; our office hours will be curtailed. One thing will not change and that is the response to 911 emergency calls. The police will continue to respond to these calls as their number one priority. The transition will not be without its bumps, we are asking for your assistance and patience as we move forward."

Details of changes to be implemented January 1 2011:
  • The Building and Planning Permit office be open Monday- Thursday 9 am to 1 pm as a result of staff reduction. Individuals and businesses can come in during these hours or call and make appointments with planning staff.
  • Passport Office hours will be Monday, Tuesday and Friday, noon to 5 pm and Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm.
  • The final issue of the Town Crier will be sent out at the end of this year. Starting January 1, the etc* — the electronic town crier will be the way to get news and information about the city. This is a free subscription service.
In addition there will be changes phased in over the year:
  • Business licenses will increase on January 1, 2011 to an annual fee of $30. Out of town businesses will be charged $60. These fees have not been increased in 22 years.
  • The Surface Water fees will be increasing 6% in order to cover the cost of capital projects focusing on flood reduction.
  • King County has increased their portion of the sewer rates and this increase will be passed along to sewer customers.
  • Starting in 2011 there will be traffic safety cameras on 40th Place NE.


Anonymous,  December 22, 2010 at 5:50 PM  

The traffic revenue camera will need to nab at least two violators and hour to break even. The city rents it at around $4500 per month and it can only work during school hours. It could lose money!

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