Lynnwood City Council solves budget gap but expects more hardship

Last night the Lynnwood City Council passed a series of budget amendments that closes the city’s budget gap of $5.3 million. (That’s up from the previous estimate of $4.8 million.)

Some of the fixes included $2.3 million in transfers from other accounts, including $1.3 million intended for library improvements.

Essentially, they took money out of the bank to pay for daily operating expenses, but council member Mark Smith said they had no other choice. “It’s the best we have available to us right now without severe and horrific disruption to city services,” he said.

$753,000 was cut from eight city departments, including $201,000 from the police budget. The city also implemented a hiring freeze expected to save about $241,000, and cuts to travel and training that should save $68,000.

Council members expect even more problems when they start talking about the 2011 – 2012 budget. They’ll need to pay back $10 million from other accounts they borrowed for this year’s budget.

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