City of Kenmore officials find the fun in 2017-18 budget

City Manager Rob Karlinsey, Finance Director Joanne Gregory and other city staff members presented the 2017-18 biennial budget to the Kenmore City Council at the Oct. 24 meeting.

The city used a priority-based budgeting process to develop the budget, identifying the priorities through looking at the council’s goals for Kenmore and other policies such as the 20-Year Vision Statement and the Target Zero resolution for pedestrian and bicycle safety.

“The budget builds on our pedestrian and bicycle safety momentum,” Karlinsey said.

He also cited economic development as a top priority for the city with the goal of expanding employment and making the city more vibrant. Capitalizing on that vibrancy through events, art projects, recreation opportunities and volunteerism also is important to Karlinsey.

“Our major theme of the next two-year budget is ‘Where’s the fun?’” he said.

The total proposed budget for the 2017-18 biennium is $55.9 million. Within that figure, $23.4 million is dedicated to the general fund, $9.4 million will go to the transportation capital fund, $4.7 million will go to surface water management and $4.5 million will go to the park capital fund.

Capital Improvement Program

At the Oct. 24 meeting, the council also unanimously approved the 2017-22 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which includes funding for various parks, transportation and surface water projects. Nine planned park projects will be funded for a total of $11.2 million, 10 transportation projects will be funded for a total of $61.2 million, and seven surface water projects will be funded for a total of $4.7 million.

For the 2017-18 biennium, $4.5 million will be spent on parks, $12.3 million on transportation and $3.5 million on surface water as part of the CIP.

Funding from the proposed Walkways and Waterways levy on the Nov. 8 ballot affects five of the CIP projects, and Gregory said changes would be made if the levy fails. “We would go back to the drawing board on those projects … and create a new plan, amend the CIP,” Gregory said.

What’s next

The 2017-18 budget will be up for discussion again at the council’s Nov. 7 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Kenmore City Hall.

The full proposed 2017-18 biennial budget and the CIP can be found online through the city’s finance department at www.kenmore.gov/financeadministration.

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