City Council passes $118.2 million budget for next year
The Gig Harbor City Council approved a 2022 budget during its meeting Monday night that’s 17% higher than this year’s.
The $118.2 million budget includes $42.9 million in projected revenues and predicts an ending fund balance of $41.7 million. It provides $4.6 million for the police department, $1.8 million for parks operations, $201,000 for senior services and $215,000 for pedestrian safety, among many other items.
It was amended twice before passage. Two million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds proposed for Well No. 9 was removed after the Council decided that those monies should be used for things that benefit the community as a whole, not just those who are on the city’s water system. A second amendment recommends that city staff base business requirements, such as parking, on occupancy rates, not the number of seats.
The Council heard a presentation from Transportation Solutions, Inc. on the Draft ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Planning Program. The program identifies physical obstacles that limit access to facilities for people with disabilities, indicates how and when the obstacles will be removed, and determines who is responsible for implementing the plan. A TSI survey found that 416 curbs need to be made ADA-compliant. The plan indicates that the city has 25 years to correct the curbs at a rate of 17 per year and a projected cost of $15,000 per ramp.
The Council approved all but one of the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee’s grant recommendations for 2022. It asked that a proposed $5,000 grant be reviewed. It will revisit that item at its first meeting next year, when the new council is seated.
Other agenda items that had first readings will be brought back for final decisions on Dec. 13. Those include a proposed addition of an arts and culture element to the comprehensive plan and a resolution that adjusts the city’s code regarding parks operation. It includes setting closing time at a half hour after dark for Ancich Waterfront Park and other city parks. Representatives from the Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Racing Team asked the Council to consider setting the closing time later because it gets dark so early in the winter and many young club members don’t get to the park until after school, late in the afternoon. The ordinance also makes it illegal to discharge fireworks in city parks.
The Council passed Resolution 1222, setting rental fees for the Ancich Park storage racks for canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards. The rates will be published in January. There will be a lottery process if the city receives too many requests. According to Public Works Director Jeff Langhelm, no rentals will be approved until the community paddlers dock is open and available for public use.
Resolution 1223 passed unanimously, establishing water and sanitary sewer hook-up rates for 20 homes being built on Burnham Drive by Rush Construction. The land is outside the city limits, but inside the UGA and within the city’s water service area.
To view a recording of the meeting, go to https://www.cityofgigharbor.net/AgendaCenter/City-Council-3. The next council meeting will take place Dec. 13 at 5:30 p.m.