City Council Approves 2013 Budget - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City Council Approves 2013 Budget

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SPOKANE, Wash. - After meeting for 4 hours and taking public testimony the Spokane City Council voted in favor of the 2013 budget. 

By a vote of 4 to 3 the City Council approved Mayor David Condon's quote "no growth budget" as the city attempts to make up a multi-million dollar budget shortfall. 

The budget includes the elimination of 100 positions across the city, and while most of them are and have been vacant, 14 people within the city will be laid off in areas like, the Parks Department, Municipal Court, Human Services and Parking.  

Also, roughly $2-million dollars will be cut from both the police and fire budgets.

What that means, is the police force will lose 21 currently vacant positions, and for the fire department, 23 positions will be eliminated including a full-time firefighting crew at Station 9 on the lower south hill.

A medical crew will be based there but for fires, crews from surrounding stations will have to respond. 

Trying to offset those cuts a motion to raise property taxes in the city was discussed but ultimately shot down by a vote of 4 to 3. 

After hearing public testimony council members explained what led them to their decision.

Council member Salvatori called it a solid budget that reflects the economy and lack of revenue the city is able to collect.  

Council President Stuckart was decidedly against the budget saying he could not support a budget that included raises for a few high level city employees while laying off 100 others. 

Departments will now have less than a month to figure out how to deal with these cuts.

The budget goes into effect January 1st.

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