Council eyes big-ticket items

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WALLA WALLA - City Council will review and possibly decide the fate of four major financial decisions tonight, the largest of them being the 2012 budget, which includes a $24 million general fund.

The first item on the active agenda for the evening is a $245,000 reimbursement contract with the Walla Walla County Rural Library District.

The District board will consider approval of the contract this afternoon.

Next on the agenda is the 2012 budget, which was seen as mostly favorable by Council members at their last meeting, but three issues were brought up.

Staff wanted to pull $77,000 from street funding and move it to the general fund, but Council directed staff to keep the funds in streets.

Council questioned why $15,000 of infrastructure repair funds were being given to the nonprofit group Commitment To Community. Staff said the organization would provide community outreach in the Edith and Carrie Avenues neighborhood, where the city's largest infrastructure project will take place next year. And the sweeping of excess Downtown LID funds into the general fund was harshly questioned by Council member Dominick Elia. The latter two moves were not overridden at last week's meeting, however.

Next on the active agenda, the Council will review what will either be a $300,000 or $400,000 contract for new police station furnishings. The lowest bidder was a Walla Walla business. The highest-ranking bidder was a Tukwila, Wash., firm.

Finally, the Council will review a $528,000 contract with HDJ Design Group for the Myra Road grade-lowering project. The project consists of $3.4 million in road safety improvements and is predominately paid for by state and federal funds.

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