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Mayor Denis Law Delivers 2011-2012 Budget Proposal to Renton City Council

October 18, 2010

For more information contact:
Iwen Wang,
Administrator, Finance and Information Services 425-430-6858
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

First Biennial Budget for the City

RENTON: Renton Mayor Denis Law delivered his 2011-2012 proposed budget to the Renton City Council during the Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, October 18, 2010. 

“Our country is continuing to struggle through the worst economic recession in history and the trickle down effect of this poor economy on government services is very evident,” said Mayor Denis Law. “This budget is based on the premise that while we are facing exceptionally difficult times, we must continue to forge ahead with our vision for this community.”

This is the first time the city is implementing a biennial budget. This helps with future planning and also saves significant staff time and resources. Also for the first time, the city established a community budget advisory group and developed this budget to reflect community values and align city priorities with those of the community.

“The thoughtful discussions and advice of the community budget advisors have helped shape this budget and encouraged us to continue to work towards a sustainable, long-term plan that is customer-focused and reflects the priorities of our community,” said Law.

The total proposed two-year budget for 2011 and 2012 is $445 million, of which $198 million is the General Government fund that is used for police, fire and emergency services, parks, street repair, and other basics required to run a city.

The budget includes the full funding of the city’s portion of the startup cost for the new 800-bed jail being built in partnership with six other south county cities. It also provides nearly $20 million over a ten-year period for the development of new library facilities that the Council committed to do when the city annexed to the King County Library System earlier this year.

Preliminary budget projections indicated that maintaining current levels of services in General Government Operations would result in a deficit of $2 million in this budget period. As a result, this budget proposal includes eliminating equivalent to four and a half full-time positions and additional cost reductions in order to bring expenditures in line with revenue projections through the next biennium.
 
Law also emphasized that 2010 has been a year of accomplishments in Renton.  He highlighted the following accomplishments:

Public Safety

  • Enhanced safety on our trails and parks; captured and expelled 20 offenders from our city parks
  • Proactive efforts from our Special Operations Division have successfully targeted and arrested several individuals responsible for many crimes including burglaries, thefts, vehicle prowls, and identity theft
  • Utilizing innovative crime analysis to proactively apprehend repeat offenders, and get them longer prison sentences
  • Successfully lobbied for $44 million of federal funds for interim repairs to Howard Hanson Dam; planned and prepared for Green River potential flooding

Streets, Transportation and Infrastructure

  • Renton’s streets are among the best maintained in the region; implemented significant improvements to city sidewalks
  • Investing $40 million in the Rainier Ave improvements project to add new lanes, improve the traffic flow, make it pedestrian-friendly and enhance safety.

Our Community

  • Established new library board and are working with KCLS to ensure the highest quality library services for our citizens; coordinating plans for the future of our library buildings
  • Partnerships, volunteers and the dedication of our local organizations and businesses resulted in significant contributions to our community
  • Over 4,000 volunteers contributed over 60,000 hours of service to the Renton community valued at $1.2 million a year
  • Record attendance at the Farmers Market and our festivals and events
  • Strengthened and expanded the Neighborhood Program, which now serves 63 neighborhoods; hosted 23 picnics and served 5,300 people

Economic Development & Planning

  • The Boeing Company continues to have a pivotal place in Renton—signed a historic lease renewal agreement with Boeing for a 20-year lease for the Renton Municipal Airport
  • Private investors purchased 21 acres of land south of The Landing for significant future redevelopment
  • Double-digit growth for stores and restaurants at The Landing with several new openings expected in the next few months
  • Fairfield Residential at The Landing and Harrington Square apartments in the Highlands report high lease and occupancy rates
  • Several new businesses in downtown, Cascade Village, Renton Village, Southport and the Highlands.
  • Celebrated several ribbon-cuttings including Valley Medical’s Level III trauma center, Waterways Cruises, stores and restaurants at The Landing, and various businesses in downtown Renton
  • Compass Regional Veteran’s Center just opened their 60,000 square foot complex in downtown Renton with affordable veteran housing and retail space
  • Seahawks training camp brought 22,000 visitors to Renton
  • Launched several major plans including the City Center Plan, Sunset Area Revitalization Plan, Renton History Museum Plan, Arts & Culture Master Plan, and Trails and Bicycles Plan

“A strong foundation set many years ago has positioned Renton well as the economy improves,” said Law. “This strong foundation, combined with our commitment to doing business more effectively and efficiently, will allow Renton to be strong and stable now and into the future.”