Mayor preps 2013 budget
By Josh Johnson
Splash Staff Writer
Expressing an increased emphasis on tying the city's budgeted expenses to its priorities, Mayor Steve Peterson will present his 2013 budget to the Liberty Lake City Council Tuesday.
"We want the budget to reflect the community's priorities," City Administrator Katy Allen said, adding that an August City Council was one important step in defining these initiatives.
Peterson summarizes his overarching mission for the city as creating a "safe, clean, green" community. Among the highlights residents can anticipate in Tuesday's proposal:
• Police department upgrades: Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus said his department's budget request will include a new officer, two new police cars and a portable radar reader. The new officer position would be the city's first in six years, during which time the city has grown by 1,000 residents, he said.
• Library technology: Library Director Pamela Mogen said her budget request will reflect one of the library's priorities of increasing its service as a technology center. Media lab software and two new iPads to be integrated as stations into the children's department are among the anticipated requests.
• Capital facilities projects: Allen said that while many of the city's capital priorities depend upon the ability of associated grant funding to come through, items like a pedestrian trail along Sprague Avenue between Liberty Lake Road and Molter, a glass wall partitioning off the children's portion of the library, development of Town Square Park on the city's 6.4-acre lot at Appleway and Signal, a roundabout at Harvard Road and Mission, and work with the Central Valley School District on developing a vacant lot next to Liberty Lake Elementary School are among anticipated 2013 projects.
• "Clean and green": Allen said the city will look at doubling its seasonal parks and open space "boots on the ground" staff from seven to 14.
• Utility taxes dedicated: Peterson said he anticipates defining a dedicated use for the city's utility taxes for street maintenance projects.
The public is invited to attend the budget presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 22710 E. Country Vista Drive.