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Mayor to sign Spokane budget

Wed., Dec. 22, 2010

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said Tuesday that she will sign the 2011 budget and utility rate increases approved by the City Council this week.

Verner opposed some of the changes the council made to her approved budget, including the elimination of a deputy fire chief position. The council also set water rates lower and wastewater rates higher than Verner proposed.

Because the budget passed on a 5-2 vote, a veto likely would be more symbolic. The council could override a veto with another 5-2 vote.

However, the council’s decision to raise sewer rates by 17 percent rather than Verner’s recommended 15 percent only passed 4-3. Even so, Verner said, she’s willing to live with the change. She noted that largely because of concessions, the city has maintained its current employee level in the police and fire departments.

“We have a great success story for our community in that budget,” she said.

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