The City Council has started their review of the Mayor’s proposed $45-million budget for the coming year. The Council met with city department heads one at a time Monday night to go over the budget.
In launching the Council study session, Mayor Dean Maxwell said the city anticipates lower sales taxes and impact fees. He said some proposed capital improvements have been “taken off the table.”
The mayor’s budget anticipates spending about 4.4 percent more than this year. Much of that increase is for expansion of the city’s water treatment plant. Also on the plans are a new West end park, initial work on a new Guemes Channel bike/walking trail and a new roundabout at Commmercial Ave and Highway 20.
Police Chief Bonnie Bowers said the police department hopes to fill two vacant patrol positions by the end of this year. She pointed out that overtime is a major expense, at $80,000 for the year. She said the Oyster Run this year cost around $6,500 in overtime.
Fire Chief Richard Curtis has requested new equipment and $50,000 for a cost analysis of a new fire station on March’s Point. The city has purchased property on South March Point Road, east of Reservation Road for a new fire station and training facility.
Parks and Recreation Director Gary Robinson said his budget includes $68,000 for painting City Hall and $28,000 for new flooring at Fidalgo Center.
Library Director Cynthia Harrison said plans for a new radio-chip system of identifying books will save staff time and should reduce loss of books. She pointed out that the Library’s share of the city’s information technology expenses are increasing. The library has more computers on the city’s network than any other department.
The City Council will discuss the budget in later meetings.