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Conservative budget presented to Sunnyside City Council

The Sunnyside City Council was given copies of the 2010 proposed budget last night, Monday, at a special meeting held at the Sunnyside Law and Justice Center.

The proposed budget doesn't include any new taxes or fees, except for the 1 percent increase in property taxes.

When it comes to rates, however, city staff is recommending increasing water and sewer rates. Water rates could rise by 4 percent and sewer rates could rise as high as 15 percent, but Sunnyside Interim City Manager Jim Bridges said staff is looking at that and sewer rates might only rise by 10 percent.

One other proposed increase is on the horizon, as well. Bridges said Yakima Basin Disposal has asked for an increase in garbage rates and the city is looking into that.

Bridges told the council the budget is conservative and balanced. The expenditures have been limited to known, predictable revenues or prudent use of accumulated fund balance.

The general fund budget was heavily cut in 2009 and Bridges said he kept the 2010 budget the same with some minor changes. These include new positions being added, notably in the police and street departments.

Other departments were purposely left undermanned and underfunded. However, Bridges said the proposed 2010 budget will deliver a quality, reliable, customer-oriented set of core services.

The expected total beginning balance in all funds for 2010 is $8,143,630. The city expects 2010 revenues to be $25,332,060 with expenditures tallied at $25,699,800. This will leave the funds with a total ending balance of $7,775,890 at the end of 2010.

The city council has now been tasked with looking over the budget and then coming back to city staff with any changes or questions. The first workshop with the complete budget will be on Monday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m.

Two more budget workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 10, and Thursday, Nov. 12. Both workshops are scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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