Washougal approves budget with little opposition

Councilman Dave Shoemaker had planned to propose amendments Nov. 14

For the first time in recent memory, the Washougal City Council has approved an annual budget on its first attempt.

The 6-1 vote occurred Monday night after no one spoke during a public hearing.

Councilman Dave Shoemaker said he was not prepared to vote on the $44.58 million budget. He had planned to propose some amendments during the council’s next regular meeting Monday, Nov. 14.

Those proposals would have included removing $7,500 for the Children’s Home Society and $5,000 to continue a spay and neuter program for feral cats conducted through the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society.

In previous years, Shoemaker also has suggested having Washougal withdraw from its inter-local agreement with the Port of Camas-Washougal and the city of Camas, to fund the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association. The same would have been true during this budget decision period. The 2017 Washougal budget includes $50,000 for CWEDA.

After the council meeting, Shoemaker said he was surprised his colleagues did not wait to hear his amendments next week. He did, however, admit that most of his previously proposed amendments have not been approved.

“It’s a losing battle, but one that must be fought,” Shoemaker said, Wednesday.

The budget includes a property tax increase of 1.3766. That is the implicit price deflator of .953 percent and the 2016 available banked capacity of .4236 percent.

The budget includes funding for the completion of the wastewater treatment plant expansion, a trail connection from Washougal Waterfront Park to Steamboat Landing, additional equipment at Hartwood Park and the design of improvements at George Schmid Field.

There is also money for a community center needs analysis, asphalt path improvements at several parks, a well replacement and the Hamllik Park pump track.