Spokane Estimates $8 Million Shortfall In 2012 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Estimates $8 Million Shortfall In 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. - The city of Spokane now estimates an 8 million dollar budget shortfall in 2012. Just a few months ago the outlook wasn't as discouraging as city leaders expected the drop to be less than 7 million dollars.

But on Monday night in her address to the city council Mayor Mary Verner acknowledged the ongoing economic downturn and said that her biggest priorities will be keeping neighborhoods in the community safe and maintaining business centers.

She went on to say that reducing expenses is critical. Since public safety accounts for 60 percent of the city budget, expect big cuts from that sector including the fire department and the police department.

People in east central Spokane are insistent the Mayor sticks to her word about keeping neighborhoods safe and budgeting for that accordingly, especially following Tuesday's attempted murder suicide. Roger Kremer says he stops by that neighborhood a few times a week.

"We just have someone here that we care about and we just come by and check on him," Kremer said.

It just so happens that the person they check on lives in the apartment complex where one man was found dead yesterday.

"Drive by yesterday, didn't know what was going on, here it's people we know," Kremer said. "They do need help straightening up this neighborhood."

Though the mayor says she remains to committed to doing exactly that, the Spokane Police Department dissolved it's property crimes unit just last week.

The city still has a few weeks before a final 2012 budget is determined.

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