Budget deliberations, utility rate increase before Edmonds City Council Dec. 5, 6

Continued discussions on the City of Edmonds 2023 draft budget, a proposal to increase utility rates in 2023 and a one-year contract for city attorney services are among the items set to be discussed during two Edmonds City Council special meetings and a regular business meeting Monday, Dec. 5 and Tuesday, Dec. 6.

The first special meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5, focuses on 2023 budget deliberations and is set to last for four hours. That will be followed by a second special meeting Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. to consider a proposed one-year, flat-rate contract with Lighthouse Law Group for city attorney services. The Lighthouse contract expires at the end of December and a council work group has been researching a one-year extension through 2023 while it looks at whether to renew a longer-term Lighthouse contract or seek out other options. The council will also during the 6 p.m. meeting consider a resolution supporting retention of local control of Edmonds’ zoning and building codes without modification by county or state legislation.

Finally, the 7 p.m. business meeting Tuesday will include a presentation of proposed 2023 utility rates. The staff proposal includes a 5% hike in sewer rates and a 4% increase in both water and stormwater rates to account for the impact of inflation and “to prevent future double-digit hikes necessary to meet the oeprational and capital needs for each of the utilities.” The monthly equivalent increase for a single-family home would be $5.535, the presentation attached to the council agenda notes.

That presentation will be followed by continued deliberations on the 2023 city budget and a council discussion of the proposed 2023-2028 Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) and Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The CFP is updated annually and identifies capital projects for at least the next six years that support the city’s Comprehensive Plan. CFP projects are capital improvement projects that expand existing facilities/infrastructure or provide new capital facilities to accommodate the city’s projected population growth in accordance with the Growth Management Act. The CIP, meanwhile, includes capital projects that preserve existing capital facilities.

All three meetings will be in the council chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N., in downtown Edmonds. You can watch the meetings virtually at this link: https://zoom.us/j/95798484261. Or by phone at US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261.

Regular council meetings beginning at 7 p.m. are streamed live on the Council Meeting webpage, Comcast channel 21 and Ziply channel 39.

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