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Lyons: City budget gap smallest in years

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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.

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