The 2010 Budget Forecast could mean lay-offs at the City of Yakima - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The 2010 Budget Forecast could mean lay-offs at the City of Yakima

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- You can't change the weather. Likewise, city management can't change Yakima's revenue shortfall. The City Manager released the 2010 Budget Forecast and it looks gloomy. 

"4.1 million dollar deficit for 2010 so that's been the most difficult, closing that gap," said Dave Zabel, assistant city manager, City of Yakima.

Closing the gap may mean adjustments in the staffing of 23 positions, like not filling positions when people retire and it may also come in the form of lay-offs. Five jobs are proposed to be cut, consisting of support staff from court, codes, police and fire.

"The loss of support for some of those positions is going to impact their ability to do their job efficiently, there's no doubt about it," said Zabel.

This will be the first budget modeled with councils newly adopted Strategic Direction Priorities. Council's top priority: maintain and improve public safety and health. This means criminal justice gets almost half of the 2010 budget.

There is a bright spot in the budget forecast. Some outside dollars.

"We have a federal grant that's gonna allow for the addition of 6 police officers," said Zabel.

City council has okayed the use of some reserves to help balance the budget. But, it's an unsustainable practice, so for now city management is trying to weather the budget shortfall.

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