City on brink of bankruptcy considers shutting down

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by NATALIE SWABY / KING 5 News

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KING5.com

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 3 at 11:21 PM

 GOLD BAR, Wash. --  Gold Bar is the city Sheri Dougherty-Blansett calls home.  

 
"When I came here I was so excited I got a job in this itty-bitty town," said Dougherty-Blansett, who has been a city maintenance worker for five years.
 
However, lately volunteers have been mowing the grass in city parks, and a skeleton crew of city workers are trying to do everything else because of the budget.
 
In 2010, Gold Bar ran into serious financial problems. Back then, Dougherty-Blansett took a temporary pay cut.  
 
"I lost my benefits and that was really hard. I just found out again that I might be chopped permanently," said Dougherty-Blansett.
 
Gold Bar's Mayor, Joe Beavers, confirms the city is looking at cuts and selling off assets, but at this point an even more drastic option is being discussed.
 
"We are looking at disincorporation because it is cheaper than bankruptcy," said Beavers.
 
At a Tuesday night meeting, the Mayor told residents their city could become an unincorporated part of Snohomish County. The Mayor added the city will likely be broke by the end of the year., 
 
"We spent $350,000 just responding to public records request," said Beavers.
 
In addition to the records request the city has faced lawsuits and recall petitions. Former city councilmember, Robert Amenn wants leadership changes. He thinks disincorporation can be avoided.
 
"Get a handle on the budget, stop the bleeding, deal with public records in a way that doesn't cost us anymore money," added Amenn.
 
Dougherty-Blansett just hopes a fix is found so she does not lose her paycheck and her city.
 
Cityleaders are scheduled to discuss the issue again in two weeks.
 

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