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With Evanston’s proposed 2013 city budget scheduled to be unveiled this evening, Assistant City Manager Marty Lyons says it will show a gap between projected revenue and expenses of less than $1 million — the smallest gap in years.

Speaking at a 2nd Ward meeting Thursday night, Lyons compared that to the situation four years ago when the city was faced with a $10 million deficit in the general fund.

He said the proposed budget will offer aldermen about $1.5 million worth of options for balancing the budget.

Those options will include the possibility of layoffs for three employees, compared to layoffs of over 30 workers a few years back.

The city’s full-time equivalent workforce now stands at about 700 people.

Lyons, the city’s chief financial officer, said the proposed budget will not include a property tax increase, after several years of hikes.

He said the city’s revenue appears to have stabilized making it easier to fund city expenses, that total roughly $250 million, including transfers of funds among various city programs.

The proposed budget is scheduled to be posted to the city’s website at 5 p.m. today. The City Council will have its first meeting to review the budget proposal on Oct. 29. It’s expected to adopt the budget around Thanksgiving.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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