City Council approves final 2021 budget
Councilmembers accept $113,650 in reduced expenditures
Last updated 12/9/2020 at 11:24am
The City Council approved by a 5-2 vote the 2021 final budget during its Monday, Dec. 7, meeting.
During its Nov. 23 meeting, the council asked Mayor Jennifer Gregerson to come back with budget reductions to reduce the $92,679 gap between general fund revenues and expenditures to zero, so that the city would not have to dip into the ending fund (reserve) balance.
Gregerson presented the council with $113,650 in cuts that were accepted by the council. The reductions included $22,250 in Public Works, $5,850 in Rosehill utilities, $4,000 in Finance and IT, $3,550 in Human Resources, and $3,000 in non-departmental office equipment.
Additional revenues included $75,000 from Ground Emergency Medical Transport (GEMT), a state program that leverages additional Medicaid funding to offset the cost of providing ambulance service to Medicaid recipients. The GEMT revenue and Rosehill cuts reduced transfer of funds from the general fund.
The 2021 budget also included amendments that limited the Rosehill subsidy to $112,000, $162,624 in other general fund expenditure adjustments, and an additional $100,000 in projected sales tax revenue for a total of $2.45 million.
A surface water dump truck was funded for $261,000 and the council eliminated new traffic calming funding of $25,000. Prior traffic calming funding of $50,543 remains.
Council President Richard Emery, Vice President Sarah Kneller, and Councilmembers Joe Marine, Elisabeth Crawford and Louis Harris voted in favor of the budget, while Councilmember Bob Champion and Riaz Khan voted against it.
As of Nov. 28, the city has received $2,825,000 in sales tax revenue, which will result in additional $354,569 to the ending (reserve) balance.
The council also voted 5-2 to table until Jan. 4 a motion by Marine that would have directed the city to work with Burlington Northern to close the railroad gates at the Mount Baker crossing in order to help mitigate ferry traffic that is expected on Mukilteo Lane when the new Mukilteo ferry terminal opens later this month.
An amendment by Marine tied the closure of the Mount Baker crossing to the opening of First Street.
While there was some support for Marine’s idea, the majority of the council wanted more time to gather information and seek input from the public.
Emery, Kneller, Crawford and Champion voted to delay the discussion to Jan. 4, while Marine, Khan and Harris voted against tabling the motion.