Pullman residents weigh in on city budget one last time before approval

PULLMAN, WA - The City of Pullman is almost ready to approve its 2013 budget, and residents had one last chance to give their input on it Tuesday night.

The $52.4 million budget includes a $16.6 million general fund that forced the police department, fire department, and library to make serious cuts in staff and services. Both people who spoke during the public hearing were concerned that the city should have made more cuts in recreational services, as opposed to departments that offer safety and education.

"It just seems a little out of balance," said Pullman resident Eileen Macoll. "We have 40 uniforms in our police department, and communities of similar size have more like 60."

Macoll said she does not agree that the city should keeping sporting programs for young kids, but make cuts that eliminate educational programs from the library and leave police officer positions vacant. Public Works Director Mark Workman responded by saying most of the recreational programs pay for themselves through fees, which made cutting them unnecessary. The council also approved the state-limited 1% property tax increase that will contribute about $4 million to the general fund.