LYNDEN - A 1 percent property tax increase allowed by state law and two new jobs are in the city of Lynden's proposed budget for 2013.
The public can weigh in on the draft spending plan during two upcoming hearings; on Monday, Nov. 5, and on Dec. 3.
Mayor Scott Korthuis' budget will go before the City Council for approval in December.
"I would classify it as a conservative budget," Korthuis said of the $8.8 million general fund proposed for next year. "What we try to do in Lynden is underestimate income and overestimate expenses, so there are no surprises at the end of the day."
The general fund pays for the everyday cost of running the city.
The proposed general fund for next year is about $521,000 more than this year's amount - largely because the city is providing its match for about $5 million in federal and state dollars coming in for projects that include Benson Road improvements and B.C. Avenue resurfacing.
Sales tax revenue is budgeted at about $1.6 million, the same as for the 2012 general fund.
As for the two new positions, Korthuis proposed adding an administrative assistant - bringing back a position that had been cut during the economic downturn - and a police officer.
"That's one of the core responsibilities of local government, is public safety," he said, adding that 2006 was the last time the city added a police officer.
The general fund is part of an overall proposed budget totaling $67 million for 2013 - with $22 million of that for the city's new water-treatment plant.
This year's total budget is $52.7 million.
In talking about the budget, Korthuis said he liked to focus on the general fund because it's the amount of money needed to run Lynden and provide services.
It excludes major capital projects that are large, one-time expenses that could skew the budget, such as the water-treatment plant that's being paid for with a combination of state loans, money from the county Economic Development Investment program, and the city.
IF YOU GO
What: Public hearings for Lynden's proposed 2013 budget.
When: 7 p.m. on two Mondays - Nov. 5 and Dec. 3.
Where: City Hall Annex, 205 Fourth St.
Reach KIE RELYEA at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2234.