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Arlington's city budget $1.8 million in red

ARLINGTON — The newest city budget proposal is in and it’s not pretty.

The Arlington City Council got a glimpse of the preliminary 2010 city budget on Tuesday, Oct. 13 during a Council work session. City finance director Kathy Peterson reported that city departments will have to trim more than $1.8 million from their expenses to make up for shrinking revenue and a slumping economy.

The current draft, dated Sept. 28, projects revenues in the city’s expense fund to decrease in 2010 by nearly $1.3 million from the 2009 actual budget, which was just over $12 million.

The draft budget for 2010 is currently $66,716,120, and includes more than $16 million for the city’s new wastewater treatment plant currently under construction.

Peterson said the finance department met with city department managers earlier this month. All departments were asked to make cuts, she said.

“We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there,” Peterson said about making up for the budget shortfall.

The finance department is still waiting to see how many city employees are slated to retire. That information will be available by the end of October for the Council to consider, she said.

Typically, the largest proportion of city expenses come from employee wages and salaries.

Peterson and City Administrator Allen Johnson said during the work session that the city is considering layoffs, but has not made any decisions yet.

The mayor’s budget will be presented to the City Council on Nov. 1. A public hearings on the budget is scheduled to take place Nov. 16.

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