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Budget gap in Federal Way: Public discussions begin Aug. 24

The city has announced dates for the public to hear and participate in presentations regarding Federal Way's 2011-2012 budget gap.

In late May, City Manager Brian Wilson announced the city's financial woes. A $9 million gap (roughly $4.5 million per year) is expected for the upcoming budget cycle. Tax revenues have not recovered as the city expected they would. As a result, layoffs and service cuts are likely. The management team and city council will discuss the budget beginning this month during public meetings. The discussions will continue through December, when the budget is adopted.

"We only have so much money; we are not asking for additional taxes or fees," Wilson said in June. "My task is to present a budget that reflects the revenue that we have."

The public is invited to attend public meetings set for local service and civic clubs. Meals are available for purchase at the locations. The meeting dates and locations are as follows:

• Aug 24: 7:30 a.m. at Denny's, 2132 S. 320th St. Presentation to the Kiwanis Club of greater Federal Way.

• Aug. 25: Noon at Old County Buffet, 1816 S. 320th St. Presentation to the Noon Kiwanis Club.

• Aug. 26: 6:45 p.m. at Black Bear Diner, 32065 Pacific Highway S. Presentation to the Soroptimist International Club.

• Aug. 31 and Sept. 30: The city will hold two Town Hall-styled budget meetings for the general public at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers, 33325 8th Ave. S.

• Sept. 2: Noon at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club, 3583 S.W. 320th St. Presentation to the Noon Rotary Club

• Sept. 7: 11:45 a.m. at Denny's, 2132 S. 320th St. Presentation to the Noon Lions Club

• Sept. 14: 7 a.m. at Marie Callender’s, 31920 Gateway Center Blvd. S. Presentation to Federal Way Sunrise Rotary.

The budget will also be discussed at city council meetings. These will be held at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S., in council chambers. The schedule is as follows:

• Oct. 19: 7 p.m.: Budget overview.

• Oct. 27: 6 p.m.: Budget review for Community Development, Public Works, and Parks departments.

Oct. 28, 6 p.m.: Budget review for Police, Law and Municipal Court.

Nov. 2, 6 p.m.: Budget review for City Manager’s Office, City Council, Human Resources, Finance and IT.

Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: First public hearing on 2011-2012 budget.

Nov. 16, 7 p.m.: Second/final budget public hearing. Review the budget and comment by e-mail.

The proposed budget will be available for viewing Aug. 24 on the city's website, www.cityoffederalway.com/budget. Budget suggestions will be taken by e-mail at budgetsuggestions@cityoffederalway.com. For more information about the scheduled meetings contact, Brook Lindquist at (253) 835-2401 or brook.lindquist@cityoffederalway.com. For questions regarding the proposed budget, contact Bryant Enge at (253) 835-2400 or

bryant.enge@cityoffederalway.com.

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