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Spokane Valley 2014 budget ready for vote

Thu., Oct. 10, 2013, midnight

The city of Spokane Valley’s 2014 budget moved one step closer to final approval Tuesday as City Council members unanimously approved sending it to a final vote on Oct. 22.

The city’s estimated revenue of $36.8 million for 2014 is only $490 more than recurring expenses. The city plans to use reserves to pay for $586,000 in one-time expenses, including $192,500 for park capital projects and $24,000 for some minor improvements at the police precinct.

The cost of law enforcement services will rise an estimated $1.2 million in 2014 to $23.7 million. That number includes the city’s contract with the Sheriff’s Office as well as the contracts for court and jail services, said Finance Director Mark Calhoun.

Councilman Dean Grafos said he was pleased that the city had a balanced budget. “That is without the 1 percent (property) tax that would be a new tax,” he said.

The council was scheduled for a final vote on the 2014 property tax Tuesday but Councilman Ben Wick made a motion to postpone the decision. The proposal does not include the allowed 1 percent increase, but Wick said “there are more chips to fall” and he wanted to put off the decision a bit. The city should find out soon what Spokane County decides in terms of regional trash disposal and that could affect the city’s plans, Wick said.

Only Councilman Rod Higgins voted against Wick’s motion. Councilman Arne Woodard was absent.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to award a group of street preservation projects to Inland Asphalt for just under $1.2 million. The city has received grant funding for 86.5 percent of the cost and construction will begin in the spring. The contract is for three sections of Sprague Avenue: Herald Road to University Road, Havana Street to Fancher Road (eastbound lanes only) and Fancher to Thierman Road. Argonne Road between Sprague and Broadway Avenue will also be repaired.

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