EVERETT — Millions of dollars were cut and there was no cost-of-living raise for city employees.
In a normal year, that description of Everett’s budget plan might be considered dismal.
This year, it makes Everett a lot better off than many other area cities.
Mayor Ray Stephanson presented a proposed 2010 budget to the Everett City Council, and now the public has two chances to weigh in before it’s approved.
A public hearing is set for today’s 7 p.m. meeting, 3002 Wetmore Ave. and another is planned for a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. Monday in the same location.
The mayor described the nearly $112 million operating budget as Spartan-lean, but he said the city won’t be reducing essential basic services.
Public safety would remain the city’s top priority, Stephanson said. The city plans to add two officers, thanks to a federal grant. The city is moving forward with work to replace Fire Station 3 downtown.
The city had to trim $6.6 million from its original 2009 budget because sales and business tax revenues are down. In order to balance the budget, officials want to postpone replacing some vehicles and re-pave fewer city streets, he said. Most city employees won’t receive cost-of-living bumps.
They also plan to temporarily stop paying into the police and fire pension funds for a year. Even with that action, the city would still be on track to fully fund the pensions three decades ahead of schedule.
Debra Smith: 425-339-3197, email@example.com.