The council had passed the budget October 21 for the first of three readings with the general fund in a $54,000 deficit.
Mayor George Wehrfritz opened the meeting by announcing that he and Clerk/Treasurer Tina Schubert had identified some cuts and revenue increases that would lower the deficit to approximately $28,743.
"We asked the fire department to make a reduction of $5,000 and the library a reduction of $2,000," he said.
Many of the revenue increases are estimates. County Assessor Bill Coons has estimated the town's property tax collection will hit $75,000 in 2014, up from $71,000. Utility taxes will increase about $3,000, and so on for around $15,500 in additional revenue.
Revenue cuts were similar; the council dropped estimated expenses for attorneys and other professionals, janitorial service, computer support and so on.
Also, Wehrfritz and Schubert said the budget contains no cost of living increase for employees; that would be around 2 percent, they said.
Council Member Wally Wright pointed to a potential savings: The town borrowed money several years ago when interest rates were high to purchase a lot near the library/community center. Of the $2,219 budgeted for the 2014 loan payment, $1,004 is interest. He suggested the town borrow from itself or Wahkiakum County at a lower interest and find a savings there, and council and staff supported the suggestion.
Wehrfritz said he was confident they could find more savings and revenue adjustments to balance the budget.
"Tina will put together a budget that will balance for the second reading," he said.
That second reading will come at the council's November 18 meeting.