Dear Honorable City Council Members and Citizens of Enumclaw:
I am happy to transmit to you my city budget for the year 2013, the City's centennial year. This budget represents our success over the past two years in transforming the City's finances and continues our work toward ensuring that city government lives within its means. Our goal has been to reach stabilization despite these uncertain economic times.
The budget is a reflection of the challenging economic times and what appears to be a soft and prolonged recovery from the recession. Despite these economic difficulties, and with all things considered, I am pleased that this budget is able to fund basic (core) services at current levels and to meet the General Fund's reserve policy of 8% of expenditures.
The budget is in part a measure of our success in finding new ways to do business by identifying new models. In partnership with employees and their representative labor unions, we have lowered the cost of healthcare and promoted healthy living through support and funding of Wellness activities. Moreover, savings have been achieved through organizational restructuring, operational efficiencies and new beneficial vendor relationships. These are not one time actions; these are modifications that have become part of the organization's fabric and thus will continue on through this and future budgets.
Capital funding has been strongly affected by the lack of development activity. Receipts for REET (real estate excise tax), developer paid impact fees, and utility connections fees are at an all time low. These sources of funds have historically been used to fund and maintain improvements to City facilities and infrastructure. With few capital dollars in hand, the budget expends funds to make only strategic and/or vital capital improvements. Until such time as the economy recovers, the City will have a limited ability to take care of its existing capital infrastructure or undertake new capital projects. Staff will attempt to bridge the loss of capital funding sources by redoubling its effort to seek and obtain grants.
The City's utilities, namely wastewater and water, have too been negatively affected by the economy. Once anticipated development has not occurred, and this, coupled with a high number of foreclosed properties, has had a pronounced effect on these utilities' ability to save for capital expenditures.
Enumclaw is a great community. We must remain steadfast through these difficult times and continue to undertake activities and make investments through public/private partnerships that will make Enumclaw a great place to live and work. Although constrained, the budget continues funding for our outside agency partners who perform important community work. It also provides funding for Foothill Trail improvements as well as park system improvements.
The Economic Development Task Force formed earlier this year will soon conclude its work and provide us with a list of recommended economic development strategies. I look forward to working with council, the Task Force and others to implement strategies that will undoubtedly have a positive effect on bolstering the local economy. Assisting in job creation and by bringing more awareness to the importance of shopping local to keep our dollars in our community, we can possibly generate resources needed to accomplish projects that are important to us all.
All of what we have accomplished in 2012 and all of what we hope to accomplish in 2013 would not be possible without resourceful city staff, a host of citizens who give freely of their time to sit on all of the City's boards and commissions, and groups of volunteers who help make a community we all love. I thank them all for their commitment to the City.
I look forward to working with the Council to implement the 2013 budget.
Mayor Liz Reynolds
Click here to download the 2013 Budget
Click here to download the 2013 Financial Audit Report