Enumclaw officials are in the crucial stages of a months-long process that will result in a spending plan for the coming year.
The annual budget dance begins in July, involving department heads and funding requests from community groups, and requires public hearings before the November adoption of a 2020 municipal budget.
Anyone interested in seeing what the city has planned for next year can view the preliminary budget document at: https://www.cityofenumclaw.net/DocumentCenter/View/3966/2020-Preliminary-Budget.
The document is strictly a proposal, created primarily by Mayor Jan Molinaro, City Administrator Chris Searcy and Finance Director Stephanie McKenzie. Nothing is formal and official until the revenues and expenditures are approved by the seven members of the Enumclaw City Council.
As the budgeting process moves forward, the public will be able to comment during hearings slated for Nov. 12 and Nov. 25. Those dates will also feature public hearings on the proposed property tax rate for 2020. The Council is expected to takes final votes on both the tax rate and budget on Nov. 25.
The 2020 preliminary budget takes a generally positive tone, reflecting the economic mood of the entire Puget Sound region. The proposed General Fund, which provides money for most essential services, “continues in a very solid position with reserves exceeding 22 percent and the operating budget is structurally balanced,” according to an overview included within the pages of the preliminary budget.
Specifically, Enumclaw experienced modest growth in sales tax revenues in 2019 and expects to enjoy continued growth in 2020 and 2021. The city anticipates a lesser growth rate next year due to completion of the Enumclaw High School renovation project. The city’s budget overview notes that “The Puget Sound housing market is doing well, but Enumclaw’s housing continues in a boom phase with new building permits being issued at an impressive rate.” That translates to additional dollars in city coffers.
Given those healthy financial expectations, the city has proposed a “robust list of major capital projects” for the coming year. Again, that wording comes from the official budget overview.
The list of capital projects for 2020, with the anticipated cost, includes:
• The continuation of the Automated Meter Reading conversion in the Water Utility, a multi-year project totaling nearly $3 million;
• Waterline replacements, $1.27 million;
• Pussyfoot Creek gas main relocation, $1.36 million;
• Railroad Street improvements (Battersby to Myrtle), $600,000;
• Semanski-Warner intersection improvement, $564,000;
• Warner Avenue resurfacing (Semanski to SR 410), $158,000;
• Cole Street resurfacing (Stevenson to Roosevelt), $533,000;
• Foothills/Battersby trails development, $1.14 million;
• Battersby Avenue culvert replacement, $423,000;
• City Hall masonry restoration, $110,000;
• Cole Streetscape repainting, $65,000;
• Les Schwab Hall (Expo Center) roof, $500,000;
• Aquatic Center ADA improvements, $125,000;
• Aquatic Center liner and deck replacement, $258,000.
The total General Fund budget pushes $17 million.