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Metro Forecasts Budget Shortfall

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Metro officials are forecasting a major budget shortfall next year. Expenses are projected to grow by more than $90 million while revenue drops by nearly $40 million.

On Thursday, Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal will present board members with a budget forecast intended to offer early guidance and prompt discussions on the budget gap, one of the largest in the agency's history.

The proposed $1.46 billion budget is for the fiscal year that begins July 2010. Metro General Manager John Catoe is expected to present a budget to the board by December.

The forecast attributes much of the $90 million growth in operating expenses to increases in the use of MetroAccess para-transit service, increased pension costs and rebounding energy costs.

Patrick Madden reports...

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