MONROE — To balance the budget, the Monroe City Council could either raise property taxes or lay off city employees in 2012.
On Tuesday night, city staff is scheduled to present a preliminary budget asking the council to make that decision.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the
council chambers, 806 W. Main St.
Revenue is projected to remain flat but expenses are expected to rise because of medical and fuel costs, finance director Dianne Nelson said.
“It’s pretty ugly,” Nelson said.
The council can balance the budget by laying off four employees, Nelson said. That part of the proposal calls for cutting three people in the parks and recreation department and one custodian. If approved, the cuts would reduce the parks department by half, Nelson said.
If the council does not accept the layoffs, the budget would have a $300,000 gap.
The preliminary budget projects about $10.34 million in revenue for next year, about $300,000 less than budgeted for this year. Expenses are projected to rise to $10.3 million, an increase of more than $400,000 from 2011.
A possibility to save these positions is to increase property taxes.
“That’s one way to save jobs until the economy recovers,” Nelson said.
She is not sure how the council will vote but she expects it to reject raising taxes.
At a comment period during Tuesday’s meeting, people can give their opinions about how to balance the budget.
The preliminary budget is scheduled to be posted Monday on the city’s emergency website. Public hearings are scheduled during the Nov. 1 and Nov. 15 meetings.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Monroe City Council is expected to discuss a preliminary 2012 budget at 7 p.m. Tuesday, council chambers at 806 W. Main St. For more information, you can visit the city website at www.emergencymonroe.info.