The city’s budget may not be in a state of perfect harmony according to some Council members, but it’s definitely balanced.
Nearing midnight on Monday evening, Dec. 11, the city’s $68.2 million budget for 2007 was adopted.
Before adoption, six amendments were proposed, of which only two passed. One change to the staff-proposed budget is an environmental education grant program to be funded by $30,000 that was previously allotted to the surface water utility fund and neighborhood mini-grant program.
The second change is an increase in the planning and development services budget by $20,000 for a Fircrest Planning Process. The funding comes from general fund reserves.
“There was a lot of debate as to what that meant,” said Mayor Bob Ransom about a possible Fircrest plan.
Other amendments that didn’t make the cut include adding a police officer for $137,000, increasing the human services budget and increasing economic development in certain areas.
“The police (amendment) was probably the most emotional,” said Ransom, who didn’t support the amendment because it took money from Council travel and retreat funds.
Councilman Rich Gustafson also opposed funding an additional police officer, saying staff has worked hard to maintain a positive budget and financial strategy for the next few years.
“Safety is a concern, but crime in Shoreline has gone down in the last year,” Gustafson said.
Fimia, however, said it’s the council’s obligation to improve the staff-proposed budget and she felt adding a police officer would be a benefit to citizens.
The budget for the next year is $21.4 million less than the current 2006 budget, largely a result of a decrease in capital expenditures from the near-complete first mile of Aurora Avenue improvements and the completion of the North City Business District improvements.
The civic center project and the parks bond projects remain the most significant capital projects to occur in 2007.