Cuts, hiring freeze to fix Lynnwood’s budget

LYNNWOOD – The City Council agreed Monday night to new cuts, transfers and a hiring freeze to plug a $5.3 million gap in the city’s two-year budget.

The unanimous vote to amend the 2009-10 budget ended months of council discussion about how to ease a financial slide that hit the city’s pocket book hard, and led to the March departure of the finance director.

“It’s been a long and difficult road,” Council President Ted Hikel told the council. “Hopefully, we are putting this to bed tonight.”

Council members came up with about $750,000 in additional cuts to eight city departments They also agreed to $2.3 million in transfers in funds, a hiring freeze expected to save $241,000 and $68,000 in cuts to travel and training.

One City Hall employee in the administrative service department is likely to be laid off as well, assistant finance director Vicki Heilman said.

Last month, the council approved new gas, electricity, water and sewer taxes officials estimate will bring in $1.4 million by years’ end.

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