There was no last-minute drama or horse-trading as the Spokane Valley City Council gave its final OK to the 2013 budget last week.
At their Oct. 30 meeting, council members kept their comments to a minimum as they unanimously gave a collective thumbs up to the final document, which represents $63.5 million in total appropriations for 2013 including $11 million in capital expenditures.
The second and final reading does include a transfer of $7.8 million into a new capital reserve fund, which will be tapped for projects like the expansion of Balfour Park and a new Sullivan Road Bridge, should they move forward next year.
Still, it’s anticipated there will be just over $17 million left in the bank when the year’s over.
The meeting was a sharp contrast to the first reading of the document back on Oct. 16, when council members debated the pros and cons of taking a 1-percent increase in property taxes for next year, which would have raised $108,000. Ultimately the council voted no, with the majority adopting a just-because-you-can-take-a-tax-it-doesn’t-mean-you-should philosophy.
Council Member Arne Woodard said he has heard nothing but positive comments from the public for taking that stance.
“I’ve had several conversations with folks thanking me for leaving the property tax at 0 percent,” he said. “They thought it was important.”
The council also amended its 2012 budget to reflect the $2.5 million spent for the purchase of property at Herald and Sprague for the possible expansion of Balfour Park and a new main Spokane Valley Library branch.
Last Tuesday’s meeting was canceled due to the general election. The council will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague.