Budget choices and continued revenue declines prompt further city-wide reductions
As a means to manage continued revenue declines, the City of Kirkland is further reducing service and staff levels. In 2009, city-wide reductions were made to service and staff levels, with more now in effect in 2010. This year, citizens will most likely notice less landscape and building maintenance, closed restrooms and no garbage cans at neighborhood parks. Downtown street maintenance will be conducted less frequently. Programs affected by the revenue decline include the Police “ProAct” Unit, Neighborhood Traffic Control Program, Juanita Bay Ranger Volunteer Program, Special Event Program and senior and youth programs. Grant funding in the Neighborhood Services Program that supports capital improvement projects and neighborhood communications has been reduced, as has funding for neighborhood sign repair and replacement. To view a summary of 2009-2010 service reductions, go to www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/budget.
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The City receives most of its revenue from sales, property and utility taxes. These taxes fund essential services including public safety and roads and parks maintenance. Sales tax revenue in 2009 declined close to 20 percent (almost $3 million) from already reduced levels in 2008. Additionally, revenue from utility taxes, business license fees and construction permit fees have fallen significantly short of budget expectations. The proposed increase to the private utility tax rate, which would have applied to telephone, electric, gas and cable services, was not approved in the November General Election, resulting in an additional $2.2 million budget reduction.
Staff levels were reduced in 2009 by the equivalent of 36 full-time employees and by another 12 positions effective January 1, 2010. Most City staff will forego cost of living increases in 2010. In addition, wage decreases equivalent to 3.4% were requested resulting in salary reductions, lay-offs and furloughs which will result in City Hall and other city facilities closing on selected days throughout the year.
To receive updates about budget reductions, subscribe to the Kirkland Neighborhood E-Bulletin at www.ci.kirkland.wa.us/E-bulletins (Select “Neighborhood News”).
Kirkland City Hall Closed Due to Furlough Days in 2010
The Human Resources and Parks Administrative Offices, located at 505 Market Street, will close at 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, contact Marie Stake, Communications Program Manager, City of Kirkland at 425-587-3021 or firstname.lastname@example.org.