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Longview City Council to examine proposed budget

By Richard Yeakley
Aug. 7, 2013 at 11 p.m.


The Longview City Council will discuss for the first time a proposed $153.1 million budget during their regular meeting tonight.

The budget proposed July 30 by city staff includes a $61.2 million general fund.

It does not include any increase in property or sales taxes or water/sewer and sanitation rates.

"Let's take some time and look over these numbers; determine needs versus wants, and make sure we have a good conservative budget again this year," said Mayor Jay Dean after the budget was presented to prevent conversation at the council's last meeting.

Highlights of the budget include:

<ul> <li>$19.6 million of general fund spending on the police department.</li> <li>$18.1 million of general fund spending on the fire department</li> <li>$5.96 million of general fund spending on parks and operations.</li> <li>$5.04 million in general fund spending for streets and traffic.</li> <li>$950,000 for a one time purchase to replace the Longview Fire Department's Ladder Truck 5</li> <li>$1.54 million allotted for continued street maintenance</li> <li>$317,000 for an additional frontline ambulance and crew</li> <li>$1.05 million allotted to bring all workers up to a market average compensation for their duties</li> <li>$3.57 million left in the general fund balance above the required 10 percent reserves usable by budget amendment.</li> <li>A revamped sanitation collection plan that would give each resident 95-gallon garbage and recycling carts but would shift collection to one time per week.</li> </ul>

The council will discuss the budget tonight, discuss fee changes, and hold a preliminary vote on the proposed tax rate.

On Aug. 22, council will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax rate.

On Aug. 29 council will hold a public hearing on and discuss the budget, adopt a budget and host a public hearing on the proposed tax rate.

The tax rate will be adopted on Sept. 12 to go into effect on Oct. 1.

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