LACEY: Budget plan gets support from public

Five residents testified Thursday during a public hearing about the city's proposed 2010 budget.

The budget, which the City Council is scheduled to vote on Dec. 3, maintains all current services and avoids layoffs.

The proposed budget totals $102.8 million. It includes a $35.2 million general fund that pays for basic services.

The speakers thanked the council for preserving funding critical to social-service agencies and including $50,000 for the design of an expansion to the senior center.

The city will pay Lacey Fire District No. 3 more than $4.8 million to provide firefighting and basic emergency medical response to residents, a 10 percent increase from this year. It is the final year of their contract. The city intends to ask voters in April whether to annex the city into the district.

The budget includes a 4 percent increase in water rates to pay for rising costs.

The city’s tax levy is projected to increase 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, to $2.13 from $2.08. The figure includes voter-approved levies for fire stations and equipment and park improvements.