Community Government

City Council gets first look at revised budget

Posted on November 30th, 2023 By:

The Gig Harbor City Council on Monday, Nov. 27, got its first look at an ordinance modifying the city’s 2023-24 budget. A public hearing and council vote on the modification is scheduled for the council’s Dec. 11 meeting.

In presenting the budget report, city Finance Director Dave Rodenbach said he wanted to be “real and transparent” about the situation, because “we’re having a struggle with our revenues.”

In October, Rodenbach reported that sales tax revenues were about $700,000 below predictions. Development permits, including building, mechanical and plumbing permits, are also down.

Because of the budget shortfalls, the city has delayed hiring for four positions in its community development department, saving $539,874. In addition, the city will spend about $276,000 less on park maintenance than planned; and administrative, legal and IT expenditures will about $125,000 less.

Under the modified budget, “when we come up with things that we want to spend the money on, it (this budget) limits us and helps us stay out of trouble,” Rodenbach said. “If we do nothing, we’re tracking to have an ending balance of about $50,000 this year.”

The city’s current general fund balance is still in the positive column at $201,598. But some funds, such as the parks development fund and the general government capital improvement fund, are down.

Netshed lease amended

The council unanimously approved an amendment to the city’s lease agreement with the Skansie Netshed Foundation.

The foundation has routinely opened the netshed at Skansie Brothers Park for the annual tree lighting ceremony and other city-sponsored events.

Due to recent claims to their insurance, the foundation is now reluctant to open its doors for any event not sponsored by the organization.

The new lease amendment indemnifies and holds the foundation harmless for any claims that might result from a city-sponsored event.

The amendment was part of the council’s consent agenda, which the council typically approves without discussion.

Also on the consent agenda was an extension of a contract with Seattle’s Finest Security and Traffic Control to provide security at the municipal court through the end of 2024. The city will pay Seattle’s Finest $97 per hour for armed security and $149 per hour for unavoidable overtime and holidays.

Upcoming meetings

  • The council will hold a virtual study session at 3 p.m. Nov. 30. Agenda items include an update on the city’s health, housing and human services programs; and a discussion on the city’s improvement project on 38th Avenue. Anyone can watch the meeting via Zoom.
  • The next regular council meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at the Civic Center. In addition to the 2023-24 budget revision vote, tentative agenda items include the oath of office for incoming council members and approval of design contracts for improvements on Olympic Drive/Point Fosdick and Peacock Hill. The Dec. 11 meeting will be held in person and also accessible via Zoom.