Washougal Council approves 2012 budget

Plan includes increase in dog impound reimbursement rate

The City of Washougal budget for 2012 includes some funding for the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society, through payments for dog impounding services.

The budget, approved 5 to 2 last night, includes $19,320 for professional services provided by the no-kill shelter located in the Port of Camas-Washougal Industrial Park. The budgeted amount would cover the cost of impounding 161 dogs at a rate of $120 per dog.

The 2011 budget included $70 per impounded dog and a subsidy of $12,500.

The $120 per dog impound fee is the same amount the Humane Society for Southwest Washington would charge the city.

During public comments, Marilyn Tyrrell brought a stuffed teddy bear to the podium as a visible reminder “of the animals in your care.”

“Please remember them,” she said to council.

The “no” votes regarding the budget were made by Dave Shoemaker and Michael Delavar.

Prior to the vote, Delavar said he would not be supporting the city’s payment of $50,000 for the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association. The city’s budget also includes $5,000 for the Columbia River Economic Development Council.

The $29.68 million budget has a general fund contingency reserve of $1.76 million, and a newly established facilities capital project fund ($520,500) and transportation capital fund ($770,500).

Shoemaker said his “no” vote was related to the establishment of those funds.

“They were both funded from the unrestricted reserves,” he said this morning. “That is a new term I was introduced to last night. I think of reserves as reserves.”

The budget includes $7,500 for the Children’s Home Society and $5,000 for the Washougal School District Community Education.

“As a council, we are choosing to favor certain organizations and grant them access to the public treasury and I think that is a mistake,” Shoemaker said. “They do good work, but they are not a municipal mission.”

The budget includes funding for a new patrol officer, as well as $250,000 for parking improvements at Sandy Swimming Hole, $150,000 to replace the Hathaway boat launch and $50,000 to construct a board walk at Eldridge Park.

The budget includes $200,000 for maintenance and repairs at City Hall and other facilities. There is also $130,000 for a sidewalk along Addy Street, to complete the connectivity of Hamllik Park to 32nd Street.

The budget is available online at www.cityofwashougal.us. For more information, call 835-8501.

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