Marysville’s preliminary budget for 2019 and 2020 includes funding for the First Street bypass, a new public safety building, four new police officers and some recreation projects.
City officials held their first of two budget hearings for the city’s next biennial budget during the Nov. 13 Marysville City Council Meeting.
The Marysville City Council still has to approve the budget and may take action to approve or reject it after the second public hearing on Nov. 26, at 7 p.m., at Marysville City Hall, 1049 State Ave., Marysville.
There are not many changes to the tax base from previous years, said Sandy Langdon, finance director for the city of Marysville.
The biggest is the levy of $0.50 per $1,000 assessed property value that was voter approved and will fund a new public safety building and jail.
Property tax will make up 34 percent of the revenue, “with sales tax in second at 28 percent and then our business taxes at 14 percent, with service charges also around the 14 percent level,” said Langdon.
The preliminary budget for the next two years totals $351 million.
About 70 percent of the budget is water, sewer and garbage services, which is not funding that the city can change much, said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring.
That leaves $108 million for the city’s general fund.
“That’s where staff and council really can dig in and see where we want to spend the money,” said Nehring.
City staff try and ask the individual city departments and the public where they want that money spent.
“Our departments will put in requests and we’ll review them and take some out and leave some in, but really what drives this is the public, or at least our interpretation of what the public wants,” said Nehring.
About 2/3rds of that general fund is spent on public safety, including police, fire, EMS and the court system.
“Our citizens’ first priority, and this is probably nationwide, is public safety,” said Nehring, so he said the city should put a lot of it’s budget into public safety.
The city’s new public safety building is the biggest capital project that is part of the preliminary budget.
Included in the police department budget is room to hire two new police officers in 2019 and another two in 2020.
The proposed budget also continues the embedded social worker program which partners a social worker with a local police officer to directly go out and help those with addiction problems get help.
“If they’re willing to come in, we will get them help with temporary housing and other services,” said Nehring. “If they’re not willing to get help with the social worker than the police will then go in and arrest."
After public safety about $37 million is left in the proposed biennial budget for other projects including “streets, parks, engineering and all the great events that the city puts on,” said Nehring.
Transportation projects take up a lot of money in the budget.
The upcoming I-5/SR-529 interchange which will provide a new way into the downtown area.
That project was funded by the Washington state transportation package from 2015 and is meant to provide a way to get into Marysville around the train tracks.
“When people come off that new interchange we don’t want them flooding the downtown,” said Nehring, so the proposed budget also includes city funds for a First Street bypass.
“We have money in this budget that we’re asking the council to approve for the First Street bypass,” he said, which he hopes will begin sometime in 2019 if approved.
Recreation projects are the next biggest chunk of the budget, and grant funds combined with city funds are scheduled for a variety of projects in the proposed budget, including building out Olympic View Park, extending Ebey Waterfront Trail and extending Bayview Trail to connect it with Centennial Trail, said Nehring.