Washougal financial picture brightens

City leaders credit staff members

City of Washougal employees met this morning and received accolades for their involvement in positive financial news.

During a 2013 fourth quarter and year-end update to City Council last night, Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg said the city had budgeted for an estimated $594,000 deficit in the general/street fund. The actual deficit was approximately $6,000.

The difference was due to higher revenues and lower expenses, according to Forsberg.

“The lower expenses were due to reorganization and delays in hiring new staff,” she said.

The overall revenue, in the general and street funds, is up 3.7 percent from the fourth quarter in 2012.

During Forsberg’s presentation, she said general/street fund revenues were higher by $442,000, and expenses were lower by $533,000, creating net results of $975,000 better than anticipated.

The new reserve balance is higher by $588,000.

The lower expenses included $200,000 attributed to two fewer positions and less overtime than budgeted for the fire department.

Expenses in the community development department were $100,000 less than budgeted, and the cost of an audit was lower than expected.

“It speaks volumes for the dedication of staff,” said Mayor Sean Guard.

Councilman Dave Shoemaker told Guard the favorable financial news was due to “good management by you and your team.”

Council members unanimously approved a resolution, spontaneously written by Paul Greenlee, congratulating and thanking city department heads and staff members for keeping costs down. Connie Jo Freeman had an excused absence from the meeting.