Lynnwood Council views rosy budget forecast

  • Tue Feb 21st, 2012 7:35pm

By Mina Williams Herald writer

LYNNWOOD — The city of Lynnwood’s budget is making small headway to solvency. Preliminary figures indicate that the city’s general fund was in the black $3.7 million as 2011 books closed.

That figure stood after accounting for repayments made to the revenue stabilization fund, also called the rainy day fund, and the utility fund. Transfers from those funds were used to balance last year’s budget.

City Council members received the good news at the Feb. 15 work session.

Other moves that affected the bottom line included delaying issuing bonds for the Recreation Center, saving close to half a million dollars, and reducing overall city expenses more than 5 percent. Some expenses also came in at less than was budgeted.

It took slightly more than $43 million to run the city last year. Revenues sit at $46.7 million.

The city’s bond rating was recently increased in part due to council developing a long-range financial plan calling for installments totaling $5 million to be put into the rainy day fund by 2016.

Revenue boosts for 2011 included one-time real estate sales totaling $5.3 million and sales tax revenue of $15.8 million, trending upward 4.2 percent from 2010.

The 2011 final numbers are expected in March.

Court revenues, however, pose a problem in the city budget.

Lynnwood is collecting about 16 percent of assessed fines, more than $800,000 less than expected. That collection percentage is, on average, equal with other municipalities, financial director Lorenzo Hines said.