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Enumclaw council takes last look at 2013 budget

The long, arduous process of crafting a 2013 spending plan is nearing completion for members of the Enumclaw City Council.

The council is expected to adopt a budget for the coming year during its Dec. 10 meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers of Enumclaw City Hall, 1313 Griffin Ave.

City Administrator Mike Thomas said the good news found in this year's budget comes in the general budget, which is not being slashed as much as in recent years. City leaders were pressured to find "new efficiencies" during the recent lean years, he said, and the general fund is in better condition this time around.

Hit hard since 2008 have been the outside agencies that counted on a city contribution to stay afloat. Thomas said the council has funded those groups to the same tune as in 2012. A year ago, the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce received $5,000 at the beginning of the year and another $5,000 later; this time, the chamber is getting the full $10,000 up front.

On a negative note, Thomas said not much money is available for capital projects. An exception comes in the allocation for road repairs; very little has been made available recently, he said, but the 2013 budget will include $250,000.

City council, the administrative team and department heads have been working for months on a budget. The process began in mid-September with individual meetings with leaders of various city departments and took a major step in October with the formal filing of preliminary budget. Along the way were public hearings on the budget itself and the accompanying property tax levy for 2013.

Developing a plan that matches financial resources and expenditures is tricky business everywhere during these days of a lingering recession.

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