Buckley continues budget talks

The city expects 7% less in its general fund next year.

Buckley city officials and council members continued city budget talks at their most recent council meetings Oct. 25 and Nov. 8.

The next council meeting (Nov. 22) will be the final hearing on the budget, and the council will have an opportunity to pass the budget.

In short: The city projects to have about 7% less in general fund revenue next year. The city said a large part of that reduction is because Buckley is no longer receiving new federal ARPA relief funds. A slowdown in building permit revenue – fueled by a slowdown in the recent white-hot housing market rush – will also likely impact city coffers.

The number is also reduced because the city earned several one-time grants last year that weren’t available this year, and due to a small decrease in money from fines and penalties from law enforcement.

On the other hand, property and utility taxes and fire and law enforcement contracts will all see regular increases. The city will see a 19% increase in state revenues, largely from cannabis and liquor excise and profits. And the city expects to see a big 37% boost from last year’s business licensing revenue, thanks to business growth in the city and a recent $25 increase in the cost of renewing a business license.


• Unanimously approved the city’s contract agreement to provide police services in Carbonado.

• Unanimously approved the city’s contract agreement to provide police services in Carbonado.

• Unanimously approved final acceptance of the completed 112th Street East preservation project.


• Unanimously approved an amendment to the interlocal agreement between the city and the SCORE jail for jail services. The vote transfers the city’s guaranteed jail beds from SCORE to the Enumclaw jail for a cheaper rate (about $80 per day less), police chief Kurt Alfano said. The change should free up time on the road since officers won’t have to drive as far to book suspects.

The city can still book at SCORE, but the change means they’ll simply prefer to do so at Enumclaw. The agency must still book felonies in Pierce County,

• Unanimously approved an interlocal agreement between the city and Enumclaw’s jail for services, finalizing the shift they’d just voted on from the SCORE jail.

• Unanimously approved an interagency reimbursement between the Washington State Administrative office of the Courts (AOC) and the city. The agreement pays back Buckley for court costs stemming from the Supreme Court’s decision in the State V. Blake case, which allowed some people convicted for simple drug possession to vacate those convictions and request refunds for previously paid court fees. The office can reimburse Buckley for up to $48,412.

• Approved a contract for public defender services with Crawford Law Firm. The agreement with their previous defender ended Oct. 31. All but Sundstrom voted to approve the contract; Sundstrom voted against it.