The $42.9 million proposed 2018 budget for Washougal includes a three-percent cost-of-living adjustment for all city employees.
It also includes the addition of a new police officer, funding for street maintenance and a one-percent property tax increase. The budgeted amount for an officer — an administrative sergeant — is $100,000, while there is $750,000 for a pavement management program.
Washougal Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg said she has budgeted $4.5 million for general property taxes and $945,000 for the EMS levy voters passed in the Nov. 7 election.
Water rates will vary for residential and commercial customers. City Administrator David Scott said that, overall, the entire system is expected to see an increase of three percent, but added that some customers will see their water charges reduced, while others will see increases.
Next year is the final year of a multi-year phase-in to the city’s new rate structure.
“Charges can vary, year-to-year for a given customer as well, based upon their water use,” Scott said.
The proposed budget includes an across-the-board 2.1-percent sewer rate decrease for single family residential customers.
There is $60,000 for an off-leash dog park next to Grove Field Airport, north of Camas, included in the proposed 2018 budget. Other capital facilities projects include Steamboat Landing (475,000), city hall siding ($150,000), a community center needs analysis ($36,000) and park acquisition or development ($337,000).
Transportation projects include extending the waterfront trail to downtown Washougal via Steamboat Landing and the pedestrian tunnel ($1.75 million), reconstruction of Index Street at 27th Street ($730,000) and a Safe Routes to Schools Jemtegaard trail ($650,000).
Financial support of community events ($6,000), the Children’s Home Society ($7,500), Refuel Fridays free meal program ($5,200), Washougal Community Education ($5,000) and community art ($2,500) are also in the proposed budget.
Public hearings, regarding the proposed budget and the property tax levy, will be held during the next Washougal City Council meeting, at 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 13, in Washougal City Hall, 1701 “C” St. The council could adopt the levy and budget during that meeting.