Tacoma City Council to discuss Public Utilities budget Tuesday

Tacoma City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday at City Hall with members of Tacoma’s Public Utility Board to discuss the proposed 2013-2014 biennial budget for Tacoma Public Utilities, which includes Tacoma Power, Tacoma Water, and Tacoma Rail.

The meeting is part of an ongoing schedule of budget workshops to finalize the city’s biennial budget. Earlier this week, Tacoma City Manager T. C. Broadnax presented a budget proposal that calls for a variety of measures in order to close what is projected to be a $63 million general fund shortfall over the next two years. The recommendations include eliminating 217 jobs (153 through layoffs and retirements; 64 through not filling vacant positions); the police department faces 29 cuts and the fire department faces 29 cuts in order to save $14.3 million; implementing a $20 fee on vehicle license tabs to raise almost $4 million; eliminating a business tax exemption for healthcare nonprofits to raise $5.5 million.

City Councilmembers and Tacoma’s Public Utility Boardmembers will not take public comment during next week’s meeting, which will be held on Tues., Oct. 9 at 12 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St. The meeting will be broadcast live on TV Tacoma and online at tvtacoma.com. On-demand audio archives are available on the Web within 24 hours of the meeting online at tvtacoma.com.

A tentative schedule of upcoming budget workshops (and topics), which will be held in the Council Chambers on the first floor of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St., includes:

  • Thurs., Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. — General Government Utilities; Environmental Services Department; and Utility Rates
  • Tues., Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. — General Fund Revenues; General Fund Cost Drivers; Salary and Benefits; Healthcare & Retirement
  • Tues., Oct. 23 at 12 p.m. — Public Works (Capital Facilities Plan and Street Funds); Neighborhood & Community Services (Delegate Agency Funding)
  • Tues., Oct. 30 at 12 p.m. — 3rd Quarter 2012 Financial Status Update; Finance Department; Tacoma Public Library; Community and Economic Development; Planning and Development Services
  • Weds., Oct. 31 at 1 p.m. — Police Department
  • Tues., Nov. 6 at 12 p.m. — Fire Department
  • Tues., Nov. 13 at 12 p.m. — Municipal Court; Information Technology Services; Public Assembly Facilities; Non-Departmental; Budget Wrap-up
  • Tues., Nov. 20 at 12 p.m. — Council Budget Workshop
  • Tues., Nov. 27 at 12 p.m. — Council Budget Workshop
  • Tues., Dec. 4 at 12 p.m. — Council Budget Workshop

Additionally, the city will host a series of community budget input meetings over the next two months:

  • Mon., Oct. 22 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Gray Middle School (Cafeteria), 6229 S. Tyler St.
  • Weds., Oct. 24 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Wheelock Library, 3722 N. 26th St.
  • Mon., Oct. 29 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Tacoma Main Library (Olympic Room), 1102 Tacoma Ave.
  • Thurs., Nov. 1 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Lincoln High School, 701 S. 37th St.
  • Mon., Nov. 5 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Center at Norpoint, 4818 Nassau Ave. NE

City Hall is also collecting comments through its online community budget input box until Nov. 30.

More information about the City of Tacoma’s 2013-2014 proposed biennial budget is available online at cityoftacoma.org.