It’s official: city of Enumclaw funds outside agencies

Slightly more than $100,000 will be shared by nine agencies, each serving a specific audience but all aimed at making Enumclaw a happier and healthier place.

City contributions to those diverse entities were hammered out during the 2014 budgeting process but were not nailed down until a unanimous vote of the City Council Feb. 10.

The council historically spreads dollars to nonprofit agencies that benefit the community in a multitude of ways. The actual allotments have varied in recent years, fluctuating with the general health of the economy. For example, 2010 saw seven agencies receiving $93,600 in funding; by the following year, allocations for the same seven agencies had dwindled to just $32,000.

Passage of a resolution earlier this month earmarked $103,000 to be split seven ways, with awards ranging from a high of $50,000 to a low of $2,000. In two additional cases, the contribution was not in cash but, rather, a rent subsidy to those who occupy city-owned property. Council action also included service agreements, designed to outline the city’s expectations in return for the funding.

Receiving financial allocations were: Enumclaw Youth Services, $50,000; Plateau Outreach Ministries, $25,000; the Enumclaw Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center, $10,000; Green River Community College, $10,000; Neighbors Feeding Neighbors, $5,000; King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, $2,000; and the YWCA, $1,000. Additionally, Arts Alive! received a rental subsidy of $7,500 and the Chamber of Commerce was given a rental subsidy of $6,000.

In other action during their Feb. 10 meeting, council members: made life a bit easier for Enumclaw businesses looking to make improvements.

Until now, city code has stated that any building improvement totaling $50,000 or more would require the owner to upgrade adjacent streets and sidewalks to meet current design standards. That made it difficult for building owners who planned interior remodels, exterior alterations or new roofs, for example.

The ordinance that passed unanimously Feb. 10 requires the additional work only if building improvements result in a change of use, with an increased traffic impact.

• entered into an agreement with Puget Sound Energy, a move made necessary by PSE’s pending purchase of Buckley’s natural gas utility.

The neighboring city of Buckley found it unreasonable to continue operating its own natural gas system and city voters agreed; during 2013, they overwhelmingly approved a sale of the gas system to PSE, the lone bidder.

Buckley’s natural gas passes through a high-pressure gas line owned and operated by Enumclaw; it’s a continuous system of gas lines, with Buckley taking ownership on the north side of the bridge over the White River. A service agreement between Enumclaw and Buckley has existed since 1995.

With PSE taking ownership of the Buckley system, the existing agreement is invalid and a new contract had to be agreed upon between Enumclaw and PSE.

The new pact is for 15 years, with the option for an additional 10 years, and Enumclaw’s compensation will more than double. PSE will pay a monthly charge of $4,000, plus a unit rate of 2 cents per therm. The contract between the city of Enumclaw and PSE allow the terms to be renegotiated if “significant, unusual conditions arise.”

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