Washougal Mayor Sean Guard said the top priority for him and City Council, in developing a proposed budget for 2017, is ensuring adequate resources are provided for the street system.
That includes increased funding to $750,000 for the city’s pavement management program.
Another priority in the $44.57 million proposed budget is increased funding to enhance communication with the community. That would involve making a temporary part-time communications position full-time. The employee will report to the information technology manager.
The budget also includes funding for an additional inspection position in the community development department. That position is supported by permit fee revenues.
The budget assumes the council will adopt a one percent increase in the overall property tax levy.
Capital projects include extending Washougal Waterfront Trail at 335 S. “A” St., to downtown Washougal via Steamboat Landing Park, 100 S. Washougal River Road, and the pedestrian tunnel near Pendleton Woolen Mill, 2 Pendleton Way. The $1.75 million cost could be covered by a Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office grant and traffic and park impact funds. The city has submitted grant applications for several projects.
In the spring, seasonal maintenance workers are hired for six months, to assist with maintenance of the parks. In 2017, the amount of money available for seasonal workers was increased by $26,000 to enhance services in the parks.
There is also an additional $23,000 to hire more seasonal workers to help maintain the roadways.
Equipment rental and repair funds expenses include $152,500 for four law enforcement vehicles.
The budget includes funding for sidewalks – on the west side of 34th from Evergreen to J Street and on Evergreen from 36th to 39th streets.
Public hearings about the proposed budget and property tax levy will be held during the next regular council meeting, Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m., in the council chambers at City Hall, 1701 “C” St. The budget is available to view at City Hall.