The Hermiston City Council on Monday adopted the city's 2009-10 budget, making official the plan that represents about a 10 percent reduction in its total funds compared to this year.

The budget also results in about a 9 percent drop in the city's general fund, something City Manager Ed Brookshier has described as the more concerning number than the combined funding level.

The plan means several city departments will scale down some of their operations next year, including forgoing regular projects in the parks and streets departments. All city employees also will see their pay freeze in the next fiscal year.

"Near term, we're going to be making some personnel pull-backs in an organization that's already about as tight as you can get," Brookshier said.

Brookshier said work on the 2010-11 budget - which could be an even tougher year, depending on the course of the recession in the coming months - will begin as soon as next month. Long term, he said he believes Hermiston "will still be the center of economic growth in Eastern Oregon."

No one offered public comment during the hearing. The council approved the budget by a unanimous vote.

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