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Roslyn City Council approves 2017 budget

December 14, 2016 GMT

The Roslyn City Council approved next year’s budget during a meeting Tuesday, after adding back a few items previously slated for cuts.

The total budget expenditures changed from $6,245,318 to $6,249,688 and total revenues will change from $5,775,291 to $5,775,792.

The council amended the 2017 budget to restore funding for librarian substitutes. City Planner Shawna Graham said the librarian substitutes make it possible for the library to be open on the weekends.

Councilmember Cordy Cooke and Janine and Marc Brodine have donated money to continue paying for the library substitute hours. Mayor Geoff Scherer also will contribute part of his city salary to help pay for the position, he said.

The council added back money for cemetery software and fire department safety equipment and maintenance. About $12,000 was added back for code enforcement.

One of the things that did not make it into the 2017 budget was the salary for a full-time administrative employee. The position was brought up at previous council meetings as a way to help city staff.

In a budget transmittal letter, Scherer said the city will borrow from general fund reserves to support the street fund, library and fire department. The city is starting a stormwater enterprise fund to remove the burden from the general fund.

“The initial effect of this enterprise fund will show a total utility cost reduction” in 2017, Scherer wrote. “But starting in 2018, the utility enterprise funds will follow the recommended cost of operation increase from our most recent rate study.”

Scherer wrote the budget preserves critical services in the city of Roslyn.

The Council voted 5-1 to approve the budget, with Council member Andy Januszkiewicz voting no. Councilmember Scott Gray was absent.

Councilmember Mitch Long said he wanted to do a retreat in the summer to go over the budget and look at the needs of the city, some of which include finishing City Hall, streets and parks and funding for the fire department.

“We need to work to fully fund those things that are important to the city and we need to come up a credible plan that the community can get behind,” he said, “and work with the community so that way that’s something that can be realized. (So) we’re not just floundering around and waiting for the next economic collapse to define us even more.”

Councilmember Nolan Weis said he wants to work on better playground maintenance as well.

Capital projects, lodging tax

The council discussed the capital facility plan for 2017 through 2023. This is a required update to the plan that was developed in 2013. The projects included in the plan are improvements to public buildings, parks, historic cemeteries and improving the area behind City Hall for future visitors.

Additionally, the council approved the distribution of the 2016 hotel-motel tax fund grants. Roslyn will designate $1,980 toward an interlocal agreement that has a consolidated lodging tax grant process for special events and projects. Ellensburg, Cle Elum and Roslyn all approved their designated budgets.

The council’s Dec. 27 meeting was canceled.