The city of
The only good news in the forecast came early in the presentation. By the end of this year the city of
In the past few months the council has heard better and better news about the 2015-2016 two-year budget cycle. Last year the city council convened a task force to help it solve its budget woes. The task force learned then that the city had a
Wille told the council in May that the budget gap had shrunk to
The gap grows in future years:
One big caveat: None of these figures include deferred maintenance. The city skimped on replacing old vehicles and maintaining buildings as a way to save money.
--Information technology maintenance and upgrades
The Tacoma Dome's seats are 31 years old. The fire department's buildings alone require
And let's not forget about our crumbling streets:
Wille's presentation shows half of the city's residential streets are either failed or poor (compared to 44 percent of the arterial streets). Meanwhile, the city's budget for street maintenance has dropped from
Looking forward, Wille said the city is tracking the increases to salaries and benefits. The finance department is also asking each council member to fill out a survey on priorities. Questions include whether a particular service, such as crime prevention, street repairs and pedestrian infrastructure exceeds, meets or does not meet community expectations. The worksheet also asks whether the item is most important, important or less important.
Community members could also fill out similar surveys during public budget workshops, held in July and August. Formal budget hearings will be held in October and November, with the council adopting the 2015-16 budget in December.
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