Public hearing, deliberations on draft 2018 city budget at Nov. 21 council meeting

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It’s budget deliberation time for the Edmonds City Council Tuesday night, Nov. 21, and citizens can also have their say during a public hearing set for that evening in the Council Chambers, 250 5th Ave. N.

The council will also hold a public hearing Tuesday on the city’s proposed 2018-2023 Capital Facilities Plan/Capital Improvement Program.

You can review the entire proposed city budget here, but overall, the city is requesting four new employees for 2018. Three of those are in the engineering department, and include an assistant engineer, a capital projects manager and an engineering technician. One is in the finance and information technology department — a senior accountant who will oversee the city’s grants and also work with the public works department on its myriad projects.

The finance and information technology department is also requesting $253,000 to upgrade the city’s antiquated phone system, along with $24,000 to improve server memory.

The city’s largest department, public works, has requested funding for a range of projects that involve water and sewer pipe replacements and upgrades, as well as the continuation of the city’s street repaving and an additional $440,000 for city building maintenance.

Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan told the council during his budget presentation that he won’t be asking for new personnel, since the department received funding for several new staff members in 2017. Among them: a part-time parking enforcement officer who in the past two months has written 474 citations. This year, the department is requesting $58,000 to enhance ergonomics for staff working in the police front office and to update the appearance of the area, which hasn’t been improved since the building opened. Another request, for $21,940, covers “a potpourri of budget adjustments,” ranging from reimbursable police overtime to communications enhancements.

The proposed budget also places an emphasis on shoring up the city’s reserve fund to protect against future downturns. Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling proposes moving $760,000 to the contingency reserve fund, which will increase the city’s reserves from 14.4 percent to 16.1 percent.

Other items on Tuesday’s council agenda include presentations on the city’s 2018 Legislative Agenda and an annual report from the Edmonds Public Facilities District/Edmonds Center for the Arts, plus the following action items:

– Consolidation of 9-1-1 emergency call centers SNOCOM and SNOPAC.

– Selection of a vendor to conduct Edmonds Marsh Study

– Adoption of the 2018 Property Tax Ordinance

Prior to the 7 p.m. meeting, the council will meet in an executive session, closed to the public, at 6:45 p.m. to discuss potential or pending litigation. You can see the complete business meeting agenda here.

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