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Sequim City Manager Steve Burkett presented the proposed 2014 Annual Budget to the Sequim City Council at a special meeting on Monday, September 30, 2013.
The budget is the proposed financial plan for the upcoming calendar year and is focused on the maintenance of current service levels within the constraints of the City resources. The budget also includes the construction of the new City Hall/Police Station facility, the major capital project for 2014.
Although economic growth has continued at a slow pace and is expected to remain slow for several years in the future, the 2014 proposed budget reflects balanced revenues and expenses in the General Fund and maintains reserve levels within the adopted fund balance policy. The proposed budget reflects a 3% increase in General Fund revenues and a 2.3% increase in General Fund expenses. The 2014 General Fund budget is status quo as to 2013 with the exception of increases in funding for equipment reserves.
The budget was guided by the adopted City Council financial policies and the budget principles to continue to implement the City Council top priorities; minimize the impact of any tax and fee increases on residents and ratepayers; maintain the highest possible level of service; and ensure the budget is in keeping with the City’s proposed long-range financial plan to ensure financial stability.
Based on the 2013 commissioned water and sewer master plan update, the proposed 2014 budget includes a 4% rate increase for sewer and water rates, which would translate to $1.09 per month for water customers and $2.21 per month for sewer customers. A sub-committee of the City Council is reviewing the proposed utility rate increase in consideration of a new recommended utility rate structure. The sub-committee is expected to come back to the full City Council with a recommendation on utility rates prior to the budget adoption. The budget proposes the continuation of a low income discount policy which reduces utility bills for those who qualify. The budget also proposes the 1% property tax increase allowed by law.
General Fund Revenues – Total Revenues$8,520,805
General Fund Expenses – Total Expenses$8,440,523
The City Council will review the proposed budget through October and November at the following meetings:October 14 & 28 – 2014 Budget Department PresentationsNovember 12 – 2014 Public Hearing on Property Tax, Revenues, Fees, and Utility RatesNovember 25 – City Council Adopts 2014 Budget & Property Tax Levy, Revenues, Fees & Utility Rates
All meetings will be held at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedars Street. Sequim citizens are encouraged to attend.
To review the proposed budget on-line, go to www.sequimwa.gov.