As budget deadlines approach, the Roy City Council and other executives at the small Pierce County city are encouraging interior departments to further prioritize their budgets amid an apparent $100,000 budget deficit the city accumulated in the general fund this year.

“The reality is that, unless we can generate revenue to cover costs, we will not be able to keep a staffing level to accomplish more than the basic mandates,” a letter from the city council reads. “We remind the staff that we, as the council members and leaders of the community, are available and eager to support you and to relay your department’s concerns to this legislative body.”

The council also said that citizens have consistently indicated investments in public safety and the water systems as their highest priority, which they say will take priority when reductions are being considered. 

According to a letter circulated during a regular business meeting earlier in August, the city council and staff also plan on looking into the possibility of pursuing grant opportunities to alleviate future costs and are even looking into a possible ballot measure to raise property taxes. 

If the city chooses to pursue a levy lid lift, council could approve it to run either a single year or multiple consecutive years, according to a letter from financial consultant Toni Nelson. The tax would have to be passed by a simple majority of the people and would likely go on a ballot in 2020. 

The city’s 2019 budget consisted of a projected $640,000 in revenues and nearly $652,700 in expenses, according to a previous report. Back in December, the city, which has seen a thinning in revenue margins in recent years, estimated its ending balance for 2019 would be around $1.24 million. 

Roy Mayor Anthony McDaniel was not available for comment by print deadline.

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