December 03, 2010
Wenatchee’s 2011 budget was adopted last night by the City Council and despite across-the-board department cuts, staff reductions and work furloughs the City still had to dig into its reserves to make ends meet. Council member Doug Miller cast the lone dissenting vote arguing that additional cuts could have been made in order to protect the City’s rainy day reserves . .
But even with the deficit the budget maintains a 3 million dollar reserve fund which Mayor Dennis Johnson feels is a remarkable accomplishment given the down economy and dismal revenues . .
Among the cost cutting measures are reduced pay raises for police and firefighters. City Council members forfeited their stipend for attending special committee meetings. The City also diverted 48-thousand dollars from the convention and visitors bureau to help cover museum expenses. After the meeting Mayor Johnson talked with Wenatchee Bureau Chief Steve Hair . .
The City still faces a looming challenge due to its obligation to cover nearly 1.6 million dollars in annual debt service on the Town Toyota Center. By 2012 that payment could double unless an alternate source of funding, such as a sales tax hike, is approved by voters.