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The Kelso City Council has adopted an austere, hold-the-line budget for 2013-14.

The city will fill a $115,000 budget gap in both years with a $250,000 surplus that Kelso officials expect to have left over at the end of 2012. The surplus was the result of a few staff vacancies, four months without a city manager and some expenses coming in lower than predicted.

The general fund budget, which pays for library, parks and public safety, is $7.58 million for 2013 and $7.64 million for 2014. The city will keep all its 68 full-time workers and seven part-time seasonal employees, according to Finance Director Brian Butterfield.

Based on his projections, Butterfield expects to finish 2013 with $1.3 million in reserves.

In the last budget cycle, the City Council eliminated 13 municipal jobs to bridge a $1.3 million budget gap in 2011. The council also was forced to dip repeatedly into its dwindling reserve funds.

Top 10 salaries for city of Kelso employees in 2013

Employee 2013 salary — 2011 salary

City Manager Steve Taylor:  $110,000 — n/a

Police Chief Andrew Hamilton:  $100,038 — $97,122

Public Works Director David Sypher: $96,272 — $92,659

Finance Director/City Clerk Brian Butterfield: $91,092 — $88,667

Police Captain Jeremy Kirk: $89,655 — $85,835

Public Works Superintendent Randy Johnson: $86,511 — $82,730

Senior Engineer Van McKay: $83,964 — $80,052

Senior Engineer Michael Kardas: $83,414 — $80,052

Police Sergeant Kevin Tate: $80,065 — $77,015

Police Sergeant Michael Dalen: $79,330 — $77,015

Police Sergeant Douglas Lane: $79,330 — n/a

Note: Amounts represent only base salary plus longevity pay.

Source: City of Kelso

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