Enumclaw passes $24 million budget for 2023

Capital projects slated for next year include pool renovations and waste water plant repairs.

They say money makes the world go ‘round — that’s certainly true, at least when it comes to government operations.

As such, Enumclaw recently passed its 2023 budget, complete with what sort of tax revenue the city expects, what sort of expenditures officials foresee, and, maybe most importantly, what sort of large projects residents can expect to be tackled this next year.

In short, 2023 is not expected to be a “boom year” — quite the opposite, in fact, according to Mayor Jan Molinaro.

“With the anticipated 2023 slow down, it is my hope that our city can weather the storm as we did through the trying months of COVID,” he wrote in an introduction letter for the budget. “As continued high inflation rates will result in increased expenditures and reduced tax revenue in my opinion. Let us hope in 2023 there is minimal impact to our community that occurs and services to the city continues uninterrupted.”

Enumclaw expects to start its year off with more than $4.6 million in beginning cash that rolled over from the previous year.

Add nearly $17 million in hoped-for revenue, another $400,000 in contingency funds, and more than $1.8 million in property management revenue, that gives the city more than $24 million in its general fund, about $3 million more than the previous years’ available funds.

Most of that revenue, unsurprisingly, comes from taxes; the city expects about $4.3 million in sales tax revenue and $2.5 million in property taxes. Adding utility taxes, telecommunication taxes, and various other taxes brings the total tax revenue to nearly $9.8 million, about $500,000 more than the previous year.

Enumclaw is looking to spend about $17.5 million this year, more than $2.7 million more than in 2022.

The biggest reason why expenditures are higher this year is due to various project costs; the city only spent about $600,000 on projects last year, but looks to spend nearly $3.5 million this year. Some of these projects were holdovers from last year, as the city city budgeted nearly $1.2 million for those projects, but spent only half.

One of the most expensive projects slated for 2023 is renovating the city pool for $2.6 million (though $1.2 million has been granted to the city from King County).

The city also hopes to renovate its wastewater treatment plant chemical storage building for $1.8 million, replace several water mains for a little over $1.1 million, and replace the influent stream at its wastewater treatment plant for $1 million.

Other projects ranging from $100,000 to under a million include replacing the Enumclaw skate park; restoring city hall (using a U.S. Department of Commerce grant); improve Washington Avenue (from Cole Street to Railroad Street); acquire land for a new lift station, plus design and permitting; a sewer force main replacement on Loraine Street; designing a transmission main replacement at Boise Springs; and various intersection and overlay projects.

Another fair chunk of other increased expenditures is due to staffing salaries, which went up from $5.6 million to $6.2 million. This is at least partly due to adding a police department communications officer and a half-time public works administrative specialist, as well as salary adjustments for other staff members.

Finally, outside agency funding is up by about $21,000 this year, from $24,000 to $45,000.

Receiving city money is the Tourism Advisory Board ($20,000); the Plateau Kids Network ($10,000); the Green River College Small Business Assistance Center ($10,000); and the local 4H Junior Livestock Show ($5,000). The Enumclaw Expo Center and Visit Rainier is also getting some funding ($15,000 each), but from lodging tax revenue, not the general fund.

Also receiving funds from various city taxes or the American Rescue Plan Act (meaning the money doesn’t come from the city’s budget) includes the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation ($60,000), Plateau Outreach Ministries ($10,000), and the Enumclaw Plateau Farmer’s Market ($12,000).