Several short-term, immediate measures were taken by Marysville's city council on May 27 to "ensure the orderly operation of the city" until increased income tax revenues are available.

Several short-term, immediate measures were taken by Marysville's city council on May 27 to "ensure the orderly operation of the city" until increased income tax revenues are available.

The council introduced and unanimously approved an ordinance at its May 26 meeting that will provide funding for several seasonal employees and services. City administrator Jillian Froment told the council that although voters approved increasing the city's income tax from 1.0 to 1.5 percent (increasing annual revenue by $4.1-million), only a portion of that annual increase will be noticed this year.

"The income from the tax increase this year is conservatively estimated at $1-million," Froment said.

Approved and to go into effect immediately, the ordinance funds the following services and employees: restoring funding to allow the operation of the municipal pool ($40,000); restoring funding for part-time firefighters ($84,500); restoring the funding for seasonal staff in the building and grounds department for mowing and maintenance of parks and the cemetery ($50,000); restoring funding to building and grounds for mosquito control and basic landscaping expenses for parks and the cemetery ($8,500); and restoring $15,000 in sanitation for part-time staff, for the purpose of yard waste and leaf pickup. Froment said the last item would stem from enterprise fund dollars, and not affect the city's general fund.

Also approved for the short term is the restoration of $22,500 to streets and $8,500 to stormwater for part-time staff to provide for mowing, street repairs, catch basin repairs and other work; reducing the charge back to the water division for the use of streets crews to perform water projects (instead, the streets crews will focus on street repairs, mowing, etc. - $50,000); and restoring limited overtime compensation for seasonal emergencies ($10,000, which is only to be used if needed, Froment said.

The ordinance also provides for funding in the amount of $4,000 for postage and supplies needed by the tax division to "communicate with tax payers and employers regarding the changes in withholding, estimated taxes and tax procedures that will occur in the second half of this year," Froment said.

Froment said that as we move into the summer months, there are a lot more seasonal jobs that need doing that don't need to be paid for during the rest of the year. Last summer, as the city's budget was slimmed down to deal with falling revenues, many part-time positions were eliminated. The building and grounds crews, which handle myriad tasks during the summer including maintaining parks restrooms, emptying public trash cans, mowing and cleaning, were reduced from a crew of 26 workers to eight, Froment said.

Councilwoman Deb Groat commended the city's service crews for their work during the winter months, and encouraged that they adopt some of the same cost-cutting tactics in summer months.

"I think that we have learned in the last year some incredible tools," Groat said, referring to city staff cross-training each other to be able to perform numerous needed tasks. "I don't want us to drop what we've learned I'd like to see us keep them."

Councilwoman Tracy Richardson stressed the importance of examining each fiscal decision the city makes.

"I want to make sure, absolutely, that we're asking for only the minimum needed, for essential services," Richardson said.

Froment said that in coming months a more solid budgetary picture will take shape.

"Later this summer, we will return to city council with a more comprehensive budget amendment to address the remaining pledges regarding the income tax."