College Place budget OK'd; no layoffs in works

At just above $21 million, the spending plan includes completion of four major projects.

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COLLEGE PLACE -- The City Council on Monday approved a "status quo" budget for next year, anticipating no layoffs.

The 2011 budget also includes four major projects, two delayed from this year, along with other maintenance, repair and replacement items spread throughout major fund accounts, according to a memo prepared by City Administrator Pat Reay.

Totaling slightly more than $21 million, the budget "will continue the operations at a status quo level ... with the identified capital projects identified for completion," Reay said in the memo. However, he added, "this could be a challenging year to continue to provide the same levels of service with the same operational structures."

The major projects slated for 2011 are improvements to two city water wells that are part of the ongoing Eastside Water Improvement Project, the Whitman Corridor Project, construction on the Myra Road South Project and an energy efficiency project at the city's wastewater treatment plant.

The Whitman Corridor Project will be the largest expenditure, at $2.1 million. The construction will make improvements to the road from Larch Avenue to Academy Way, including signalization of the intersection with College Avenue.

The next-largest project is the water well improvements, which will cost an estimated $1.7 million. The wastewater plant efficiency project is budgeted for $600,000 and the Myra Road South Project is budgeted for $455,000.

As in previous years, the current expense fund, which pays for much of the city's day-to-day operations, is the budget's largest portion at about $5.4 million, or about 26 percent of the total. The economic development fund and the wastewater funds are the next-largest expenditures with each totaling about $2.1 million.

Council members Monday also voted to create a new budget item, the facility maintenance reserve fund. The fund will transfer $100,000 from the current expense fund and hold it in a separate account so that money will be on hand when major repairs, replacement of equipment or remodels of city facilities are needed.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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