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Posted on: February 23, 2017

City of Mill Creek Overcomes Deficit, Reports Fund Increase to End Biennium

The City of Mill Creek has closed its 2015-2016 biennium with $1.5 million more in General Fund reserves than was expected, closing at nearly $6.4 million. In addition, the City was able to transfer $480,000 to the Capital Improvement Projects Fund. 

When Mill Creek City Manager Rebecca Polizzotto took the reins at the City in June 2015, she faced a daunting task of overcoming a significant budget deficit of nearly $2.4 million.

“Balancing the budget required a great deal of discipline and hard work by all our employees,” said Polizzotto. “By infusing flexibility, teamwork and creativity in our workplace culture we were able to improve processes and implement efficiencies that allowed us to overcome this significant challenge. It is virtually unheard of to have this much of a budget swing within a single budget cycle.”

Many changes implemented at City Hall in the last 18 months, including staff reorganization, implementation of LEAN principles and the adoption of a new HR and payroll system, were driven by the need to be fiscally responsible.

In addition to a net fund increase, the City was able to fund items not included in the 2015-2016 budget. By remodeling City Hall and the Annex (now City Hall North) to accommodate staff space needs, the City reduced planned capital spending by $8.3 million. The City also conducted an economic feasibility study, implemented a market research study that set the foundation for strategic communications, provided staff training opportunities, and funded the LEMAP study for the Police Department.

“We accomplished many things not originally included within the budget, overcame the deficit, and added to capital reserves,” said Polizzotto. “Change has not been easy. But the budget situation required a change to the way things occurred at the City and inspired action. As a result, we are positioned to better serve the City of Mill Creek as we move forward.”

The City Council will receive a full presentation on the results of the 2015-2016 biennium budget at its next meeting on Feb. 28.

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